Hearing loss can happen suddenly or gradually and remain undetected until you or others need to repeat themselves around you.
How can you determine whether you have hearing loss? The symptoms are based on the type of hearing loss and its severity.
1. Are you having trouble with hearing consonant sounds?
Symptoms of presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), may include the inability to hear high frequencies. The sounds of F, K, P, S, Sh, Th, V are the usual consonant sounds that become tricky to hear. These are crucial sounds that help distinguish the differences between words that sound similar like “keep” and “sheep” or “fan” and “van”.
You may misunderstand important information during a conversation or a medical-related appointment, or other people sound like they’re mumbling. You may be experiencing the ability to hear, but not understand.
2. Nature and other sounds are on mute
When was the last time you heard birds, crickets, or other critters? Are you aware of the sound of your car’s turn signal when it’s blinking on? Is it difficult to hear women and children when they speak?
Higher pitched sounds and voices reach 2,000 Hz or more. Anyone with high-frequency hearing loss tend to have a hard time hearing these ranges of noise.
3. Do you have difficulty with following along during conversations when there’s too much background noise?
Another sign of high-frequency hearing loss is not being able to separate speech sounds in a noisy environment. You might turn down get-togethers and socializing with others because it takes too much energy to focus on conversations.
4. Listening fatigue can lead to depleted energy, so you might avoid going out altogether.
Conversations may resemble a low-volume stereo that’s slowly breaking down or a poor phone line where some of the words in the conversation are missing.
Hearing is a signal that is read by your brain. When your auditory system isn’t working properly, your brain uses more energy so that it can process sound from the inner ear. Basically, having hearing loss is a broken signal that isn’t transferring all of the sounds to the brain. Untreated hearing loss can lead to auditory pathways to the brain becoming atrophied. As a result, dementia can begin to set in.
5. Ringing ears
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has estimated that over 50 million people have some range of tinnitus. This makes it one of the most prevalent health issues in the U.S.
Age-related and noise-induced hearing loss can lead to tinnitus. Researchers on this subject believe that tinnitus could be the brain’s way of replacing missing frequencies that it is not receiving from the auditory system.
High-frequency hearing loss is generally a form of sensorineural hearing loss. This indicates damage to the tiny hair cells located in the inner ear. These hair cells turn sounds into signals that are sent through the auditory nerve to the brain so that they can be interpreted. Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by exposure to noise, disease, infection, or genetics.
There is no cure for sensorineural hearing loss, but hearing aids can treat it.
Contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. Whether you have hearing loss, tinnitus, or both, our providers will help you find a solution that is suitable for you.