Most people know that loud noises increase the risk of hearing loss.
The Early Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing well is important to good physical and mental health as we age. Unfortunately, we don’t often recognize the early signs of hearing loss and the problem can go untreated for many years. Below are the most common early signs of hearing loss.
- Difficulty hearing others in loud places, such as a restaurant
- Increased need to ask others to repeat themselves
- The volume on the television has to be very loud. Others watching with you may even complain
- Conversations on the telephone become more difficult
- Everyone seems to be mumbling more
- It is more difficult to hear your wife, grandchildren or other higher-pitched tones
- Outdoor sounds seem to have disappeared – bird singing, wind chimes on a breezy day and even raindrops on the roof top
- You miss the doorbell or door knocking frequently
Other early signs of hearing loss can be more emotional:
- Increased frustration and anger during conversations, even lashing out at others blaming them for not speaking clearly
- Avoidance of new experiences
- Withdrawal from social situations such as church, theater or gatherings with friends
- Fractured relationships even with close family members
Just like the muscles in our bodies our hearing must also be “exercised” to stay strong. When left untreated for many years, it becomes that much more difficult to treat. In a sense, your brain has to be re-trained in order to capture the sounds that have been lost. The best advice when it comes to recognizing the early signs of hearing loss is to stay on top of your hearing health.
The good news is that it is easy to stay on top of your hearing health. Regular hearing tests are all that are needed for most at first. By making a hearing test part of your regular health checks, you and your medical professional can establish a baseline which can help you identify early signs of hearing loss and seek treatment sooner.