What Are The First Signs Of Hearing Loss?

09/12/2021 | Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

Hearing loss can present some challenges to diagnose since each patient deals with it differently. Unfortunately, I have seen many patients wait too long and cause irreparable damage.

Hearing loss presents itself very gradually. This gives patients ample time to adapt and keep their problems concealed from their family, friends, and co-workers.

Only once the problem becomes unbearable do most people seek help. While we can still help these patients, it’s much more advantageous to identify a problem early on and receive professional treatment then.

Here are the first signs of hearing loss for those who think they are developing a problem. If any of them sound familiar, please contact us as soon as possible.

Who Identifies Hearing Loss First?

Most of the time, when my patients come in, it’s because their spouse or their family has mentioned to them multiple times that they need to get their hearing checked.

When I ask the spouse or family how they noticed, it usually revolves around the TV.

“The television is way too loud,” or, “I get in the car, and the radio’s blasting.”

Other Examples Of First Signs

Shouting Or Speaking Louder Than Others – Hearing loss develops gradually, so your family may not notice this as much. But if you have met someone new recently and they commented on how loud you are speaking, then that could be because your hearing has diminished, and you are compensating by speaking extra loud.

“What?” Or “Pardon Me” – If you find yourself muttering these phrases more than usual, then it’s a clear sign that your hearing is not only in decline, but it also needs some professional attention. This common first sign is usually met with humor, as the younger members of your family may see this as an opportunity to make light of your age.

Exhaustion – Listening intensely to every word that people say can take a lot out of you throughout the day. Experiencing a hearing loss is not an easy thing. It can cause you to feel tired and worn out from putting so much effort into listening. If your energy levels are down at the end of each day, hearing loss may be the cause.

The Blame Game – Shifting attention off yourself and on to others is another common sign of hearing loss. This tactic has been used for decades, as it quickly takes the focus off your hearing and puts it on someone else’s ability to enunciate. If you’ve accused someone of not speaking loud enough, then you have blamed them for your hearing issue.

Deciphering Multiple Sounds – This symptom is most found in public spaces such as restaurants. With so many other people speaking simultaneously and music playing, you may find it more challenging to focus on the conversation happening at your own table. Blaming the music volume or the people at the table next to you is expected and a definite first sign of hearing loss.

Do Patients Ever Want Help Voluntarily?

Once a patient is in the office, we can have a truthful and often eye-opening conversation. Sometimes I push them, and I ask when they first noticed. Most of them will admit that they saw a little bit here and there, or they’ll come up with instances.

Generally speaking, most male patients always tell me they hear their friends just fine. In these cases, the family usually influences a decision to get a comprehensive hearing assessment done. That is the driving force.

What Are The Next Steps After Identifying These Signs?

If you have seen these signs in yourself or a loved one, then you must visit us as soon as you can. Treating hearing loss in its early stages is much more effective.

Hoping your hearing gets better over time is not a solution. Schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment here to get a detailed overview of your hearing status.

If you have any other questions regarding your hearing or how to help others, then please give us a call anytime.

Hearing is a cornerstone of how we communicate; take care of it now so it will stay with you over the long term.

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Erica Person Au.D, CCC-A

Dr. Person has been a private practice owner since 2005. She currently specializes in hearing aids, tinnitus management and vestibular diagnostics, while operating in an unbundled service delivery model. Dr. Person is the host of The Unbundled Audiologist podcast. She serves as the incoming VP of Audiology for ISHA for a three year term. Her greatest accomplishment is creating a life where she can serve others while still spending quality time with her husband and two small children.

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