According to hearing statistics, about 15% of American adults aged 18 and above report some hearing issues. Age is the strongest hearing loss predictor among grownups aged 20 to 69, with the highest hearing loss being in the 60 to 69 age group. Based on standard hearing examinations, one in eight persons in the US aged 12 and above has hearing loss in both ears. Hearing loss can be sensorineural, conductive, or a combination of both.

Hearing loss risk factors may include age, specific illnesses and medications, recreational noises, heredity, and occupational and loud noises. Chronic loud noise exposure, inner ear damage, gradual earwax buildup, ear infection, abnormal bone tumors or growths, and ruptured eardrums are some of the causes of hearing loss. Here are ten signs you may have hearing loss.

1. You have issues hearing in noisy environments

Background noises cause the ears of people with hearing impairments to function differently. When in noise, the inner ear’s neurons have to work harder as they’re spread too thin, making it difficult for you to hear. When experiencing hearing loss, background noise makes it difficult for you to follow conversations. If following conversations in places with background noises is hard for you, it could be because your ears have issues masking out the environmental sounds.

Even in mild background sounds, hearing trouble is the first sign of auditory processing disorder or moderate hearing loss. If left untreated, hearing difficulties could get worse. Consider getting checked by a specialist to determine the cause. You can get a hearing test at HearCanada or any other hearing care clinic near you.

2. You have problems following conversations when people talk simultaneously

Your ability to process several incoming, competing signals may deteriorate over time, meaning you can sometimes get lost in conversations. This, however, doesn’t imply that you have hearing loss. Nevertheless, you might have hearing loss if you’re having a conversation with a group of people, either at work or at home, and you regularly have difficulties following when two or more people are talking simultaneously.

3. You have difficulties hearing high-pitched sounds

If you have problems hearing high-pitched sounds, you might have high-frequency hearing loss caused by your inner ear’s hair damage. This may be caused by medical conditions, noise exposure, or aging as they damage the inner ear’s sensory cells. People with high-frequency hearing loss can only hear some of the words others say, not a complete sentence, which may result in misunderstandings. You can undergo screenings, physical exams, audiometer tests, and tuning fork tests to determine if you have high-frequency hearing loss.

4. Inability to hear people talking over the phone

If you’re having trouble hearing over the phone, it could be a sign that you’re experiencing hearing loss, making you feel isolated. A shortfall in sound quality could make a considerable comprehension difference for someone with mild hearing loss. Ear infection and earwax buildup may result in temporary hearing loss, making it hard to hear over the phone.

Since landlines and cellphones have a volume control setting, you may have trouble hearing if the telephone is amped to the maximum. Consider checking the volume settings; if you find yourself increasing the volume repeatedly, it could be a sign of hearing loss.

5. Your neighbors and family always complain that your TV is loud

Enjoying your movies and TV shows can be challenging when hearing loss kicks in. following dialogues in areas with background noise may become difficult, prompting you to keep increasing the volume to try hearing everything. If you consistently require increased TV volume and your neighbors and other people in the room find it uncomfortable, you might have a hearing problem. Additionally, if you must turn down your TV’s volume to hear what others are saying, you might need a hearing test.

6. You focus on people’s lips when conversing

If one of your senses doesn’t function as it should, your brain tries to make up for it using another sense. Looking at the shape of the speaker’s mouth can help you understand what they’re saying even if they can’t hear you. If you focus more on people’s lips to make out what they’re saying instead of making eye contact, you might be experiencing hearing loss. Get yourself checked to determine the cause of your hearing problems and what you can do to relieve them.

7. You find yourself asking people to repeat what they said

While asking others to repeat what they’ve said doesn’t necessarily mean that you have hearing loss. Nevertheless, if it becomes a habit no matter how close someone is to you, it might be because you aren’t receiving the sound signals needed to process speech properly. This may be because you have hearing problems. You may need a hearing test if you rely on others to find out what others are talking about in your presence.

8. Some sounds are louder than usual

If you easily get startled by loud noises, it could be due to recruitment, a common phenomenon in people with hearing issues. This occurs when you don’t lose your inner ear cell hair simultaneously. When sounds are louder, the healthy cells are triggered to respond more forcefully than they normally would. This implies that the loud sounds may be jarring or even distorted.

9. You feel exhausted after attending social gatherings

When hearing the speech sounds becomes difficult, your brain struggles to fill in the gaps while trying to make sense of what other people are saying. This requires significant concentration, especially when more than one person is talking simultaneously. After putting in all that effort, you leave social events feeling exhausted. You may even find yourself avoiding such gatherings. Consider consulting an audiologist or doctor if you have this issue. In the meantime, prescribed hearing aids could help ease your strain.

10. Others seem like they’re mumbling when talking

If you feel like the people around you are mumbling. If you’re experiencing hearing loss, it could limit your hearing ability of specific sounds, meaning you could end up with a combination of incomplete sounds. Based on your hearing loss, it could be noticeable when conversing with children or women with hard-to-hear voices.

Endnote

Hearing problems occur for various reasons and in people of all ages. Familiarize yourself with the signs that you may have hearing loss.

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