How To Recognize Hearing Problems?

side view of woman's head and ear

Hearing problems have their consequences, both physical and psychological. However, it is not a rare condition as already, 16% of the American adult population experience various degrees of hearing loss. Your hearing is a crucial part of your general well-being. Fortunately, you can live a normal life even when you experience issues with your hearing. You should be able to recognize the signs to get the proper assistance. The following are a few to look out for before seeing the audiologist.

High-Pitched Sounds Become Unclear

The main organ within the ear that allows you to detect sounds is the cochlea. It is strategically positioned in the inner ear and plays a significant role in how sounds get transferred from the external environment into the brain. However, when hearing loss sets in, the cochlea is the first to lose its vital function. In many cases, it is not a sudden loss. The process is gradual or progressive. Therefore, you will begin to lose the ability to hear high-pitched sounds.

For example, you may be unable to hear a beeping microwave or chirping crickets at night. Additionally, voices from children and women begin to sound inaudible. At this point, your brain cannot interpret much from the scanty sounds sent through the cochlea. When you notice these changes, it’ll be in your best interest to see an audiologist to attend to them. Although gradual hearing loss cannot be stopped, its progression can be managed with hearing aids.

Trouble Hearing Consonants

Words beginning with c, d, f and h, become difficult to hear when others use them. Even though you may have no trouble pronouncing them, the problem arises during conversations with other people. The truth is consonants form a significant part of word and sentence structure. For that reason, it’s impossible to avoid them in conversations. Whether it’s an interaction in person or on the phone, the effect doesn’t change much until you seek help from an experienced audiologist.

Great Difficulty Hearing in a Crowd

People with no hearing loss seem comfortable following conversations in a crowded area. On the other hand, a person with undiagnosed hearing loss may not be able to. For a person experiencing this, the background noise becomes an intense distraction that ultimately overshadows any other thing. You may keep asking others to repeat their words, and even when it’s rephrased, there may be no difference in what you heard earlier. It’s almost like struggling to tune into a radio frequency with so many static sounds.

Constantly Turning Up the Volume of Your TV or Radio

This is usually the telltale sign of a gradual hearing loss. In many scenarios, the volumes others can hear becomes an auditory struggle for you until you increase it to a level that seems convenient. If that feels comfortable for you but sounds like noise pollution to the others in the room, you should get your hearing checked immediately.

Constant Tinnitus

This is a medical condition characterized by ringing in one or both ears. It could be an acute or chronic ringing sensation perceived only by the person hearing it. Tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying condition and not necessarily a disease by itself. Therefore, when you experience prolonged tinnitus, it should be cause for concern. The sounds perceived are not just ringing noises.

In other cases, it can be a constantly buzzing, thumping or roaring sound. According to medical research, these phantom sounds are caused by tiny hair cells in the inner ear even when there is no actual noise in the environment. Meanwhile, in America, it is believed that about 50 million of the population experience tinnitus weeks or months before the audiologist diagnoses hearing loss. Furthermore, people prone to tinnitus are construction workers, sound engineers, metal fabricators and other professions revolving around loud noises.

Straining to Hear Others Regardless of The Environment

Usually, the concern is the difficulty of following conversations in a crowded place. However, the only plausible explanation is gradual hearing loss when you feel the same way, even in quiet environments. Ideally, it would be best if you didn’t strain to follow conversations held in your presence. But when that happens, it will be in your best interest to get an early diagnosis. That way, you can start using hearing aids early enough to learn how to control them. Indeed, the sooner, the better.

For answers to all your hearing loss problems, contact Sommerville Audiology & Hearing Aid Center at 586-298-3788.