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10 Early Signs of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can occur at any age and may be due to many different factors.  The most common cause of hearing loss, however, is prebycusis, or hearing loss due to aging.  Typically, presbycusis affects one's ability to hear high-pitched sounds.   Because low-frequency hearing may still be intact, and also because high-frequency hearing loss due to presbycusis may creep up gradually, it may be difficult for the affected individual to realize that his or her hearing is not as good as it used to be.  

Here are 10 early warning signs that you or a loved one may have hearing loss: 

1. You have trouble hearing in noisy environments.  

If when you're at your favorite noisy restaurant with a group of friends, you+ find yourself leaning in, cupping your hand behind your ear, or guessing to fill in the conversation you're missing, chances are you have hearing loss.  

2. Family members tell you the tv volume is too loud.  

You may find that at lower volumes, you "hear but don't understand", and you gradually increase the volume to accommodate your diminishing hearing. 

3. You say "What?" a lot.

 If you often say "What?", "What did you say?", "Pardon me?", "Huh?", or some other variation thereofyou probably have hearing loss that is affecting your ability to distinguish words properly. 

4.  You have trouble distinguishing words on the telephone.

 With early onset of hearing loss, you may be relying on the speaker's visual cues to help you get through the conversation.  With an auditory signal only, you may notice more trouble understanding words. 

5. You have trouble hearing women's or children's voices.  

Women and children typically have higher-pitched voices, and these may be more difficult to hear for an individual with presbycusis. 

6. You have trouble in group settings, where more than one person may be talking simultaneously. 

7. You insist that everyone around you mumbles.  

Chances are, if everyone in the world mumbles, the problem is likely your hearing. 

8. You misunderstand what people say.  

You may have responded inappropriately to something a friend, colleague, or family member said.   This can be embarrassing, or even financially costly (think of approving a $50,000 expense because you thought your employee said $15,000).  

9. You feel more fatigued at the end of the day because of straining to hear.  

Are you more tired after long conversations?  Are you developing headaches after social get-togethers?  You may be experiencing cognitive overload from having to strain, fill in the blanks, guess, and otherwise try to hear what people around you are saying. 

10. You become frustrated and annoyed at others because you can't understand what they say.  

Hearing loss is frustrating and isolating, and is associated with higher levels of anxiety and depression when untreated.  Hearing loss also often causes problems in relationships with loved ones due to communication breakdowns.  

If you recognize yourself in any of the above descriptions, it is time to seek professional help to determine the type and degree of your hearing loss.   The good news is that hearing loss due to presbycusis is highly treatable.  At The Center for Audiology, our skilled audiologists will determine your personalized hearing profile.  They will then recommend a comprehensive hearing solution that may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and/or communication strategies, in order to address your individual hearing difficulties.  Take the first step in your journey towards a better quality of life through better hearing!  Call us today at 713-255-0035 to schedule a consultation and discover the perfect hearing solution for you.