Hearing loss has a way of sneaking up on you gradually. It’ll steal your hearing in very small increments. Suddenly you’ll find yourself straining to understand a conversation or missing out on some of your favorite sounds. While only a qualified hearing professional can tell you for certain if you have a problem, there are 5 signs you should watch for.
Difficulty Hearing Consonant Sounds
When you’re older you may develop a type of hearing loss that’s known as Presbycusis. This happens when you can no longer hear high-frequency sounds. In the speech, this refers to the consonant sounds of F, K, P, S, Sh, T, and V. These are important because they help you distinguish between words that sound alike (e.g. show/throw, peep/keep). When you don’t have hearing aids you may not be able to understand some important parts of the conversation. As such you may either respond inappropriately or think that people are mumbling because you can hear them but you can’t understand them.
Common Sounds Disappear
If you don’t wear hearing aids, stop and think about the last time you heard birds sing or crickets chirp. What about the turn signal blinking in your car? These are high pitched sounds that register at frequencies of 2,000 Hz or above. If you have high-frequency hearing loss and don’t wear hearing aids you’ll have trouble hearing these things.
It’s Incredibly Hard to Understand a Conversation in a Crowded Place
When you have high-frequency hearing loss and don’t wear hearing aids you’ll find yourself unable to distinguish speech when you’re in a noisy environment. This may lead you to avoid social situations with friends and family because you’ll have to work harder to focus on the conversation at hand.
Straining to Listen
Hearing fatigue occurs when you strain to listen to conversations throughout the day to the point you find yourself more exhausted than usual. This is because it’s like you’re listening through a bad phone connection. It also makes it much harder to follow the conversation.
It may surprise you to learn that hearing is a brain activity. If you don’t hear as well as you used to it’ll take you a lot more effort for your brain to process the sounds it’s receiving from your inner ear. This is because the signal is broken.
Continuous Ringing in Your Ears
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 50 million people suffer from tinnitus. As such, it’s one of this country’s most common health conditions. It can be caused by either age-related or noise-induced hearing loss. Both conditions can result in tinnitus (a ringing in your ears). Researchers believe this is your brain’s way of filling in the missing frequencies it no longer receives from your auditory system.
Usually, this type of hearing loss happens because you’ve somehow managed to damage the hair cells that are located in your inner ear. These are what’s responsible for converting sounds into signals that are sent along your auditory nerve to your brain where they’re interpreted. Besides age, there are other causes including things like noise exposure, disease, and genetics.
If you think you may need hearing aids and you live in Clearwater, FL seek out the professionals at Countryside Hearings Aid Services. You’ll find that today’s devices are highly sophisticated and can amplify high-frequencies you’re missing without amplifying those low frequencies that you can still hear fine. This is something a hearing healthcare professional can evaluate and help you determine what hearing aids will work best for your lifestyle and budget. So contact them today.
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