Identifying the Signs of Hearing Loss

In Hearing Health, Hearing Loss by Bary E. Williams Au.D.

Hearing loss can have a major impact on your life, limiting your ability to communicate and increasing your health risks. Untreated hearing loss can affect a wide range of things from our earning power to our likelihood of falling accidents and the sooner hearing loss is recognized and treated, the easier it is for the brain to adapt and adjust.

With the wide impact that hearing loss has on our quality of life, it’s surprising that it is often difficult to realize a hearing problem is affecting you. Hearing loss can happen gradually over time, making it tricky to notice a change in how well we perceive sounds. Sometimes people “don’t know what they’re missing” when it comes to hearing. However, there are several tell-tale signs that it is time for a hearing exam. If you notice the following behaviors in yourself or a loved one, contact us at Exceptional Hearing Care today to set up an appointment with our specialists.


You often need things repeated

One of the clearest signs something may be occurring with your ability to hear is if you frequently need people to repeat themselves. Notice when you have to ask to hear things again. Many times people will falsely believe their hearing difficulty is caused by people around them mumbling.

It is true that sometimes you will encounter people who mumble, but more often than not people will be speaking clearly. People with hearing loss may encounter special difficulty understanding higher-pitched voices, such as the speech of children. When you perceive mumbling or muffled speech, don’t discount it as someone else’s problem, instead assess if it may be linked to trouble with your hearing.


You are constantly turning up the volume

If you adjust your television, radio, stereo and computers to their upper volume settings, it is another good indicator that you are struggling to hear things fully. Turning your volume up, or leaving volume settings at their loudest levels indicates that you are trying not to miss words and sounds that should be able to be properly heard at mid-range volume levels.

When you notice that your volume settings may be high, set up a hearing appointment to make sure you aren’t dealing with hearing loss. If you are curious about how loud the volume you are using is, there are several free decibel monitors available for smart phones and tablets. Volume above 80 dB is quite loud, and above 85dB is considered to have dangerous effects upon your hearing.


You avoid crowded social situations

Avoiding crowds may be your personal preference, but it can also be a behavior adjustment you are making because of hearing loss. When speech and conversation become harder to interpret and understand, crowded or noisy places like restaurants or parties become more difficult to engage in and enjoy. Being unable to properly communicate can make people opt out of social situations – even if they don’t necessarily link their choices to hearing difficulty.

The limitations that hearing loss puts on your communication is part of why hearing loss is linked to higher rates of depression and social isolation. Confronting hearing loss and managing your hearing disability helps you re-engage with social situations and keeps your hearing impairment from restricting your behavior.


You have a ringing in your ears

A ringing, tonal or static-y sound in your ears is called “tinnitus” and its presence indicates there has been some type of damage to your hearing. When you experience sustained tinnitus, it can be annoying, distracting or even exhausting. A hearing specialist can not only help you get a full picture of issues with your hearing, they can also help you connect with effective therapies for managing tinnitus. Persistent tinnitus is often managed effectively using a palette of soothing sounds and tones to distract from the annoyance of ringing.


Your Hearing, Our Passion

When these signs of hearing loss occur in your life, take action. Setting up an appointment with Exceptional Hearing Care should be your first step.  With three decades of combined experience, we bring our commitment to our patrons into everything we do.  If you live in the greater Phoenix area and have questions about your hearing health, contact us today!

Bary E. Williams Au.D.
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