We have all heard remarks about watching paint dry or grass grow. Just like these two examples, hearing loss is not something most people are aware of until they begin to struggle with their hearing. Because early detection provides me with a broader range of options and prevents the development of associated physical or mental conditions, here are some of the most common initial warning signs of hearing loss.

Difficulty Hearing Consonants

Does it sound like most sentences are just a long string of vowel sounds? As you develop hearing loss, distinguishing between soft consonants, such as S, F, Th, Sh, V, P, and B, becomes more difficult. Consequently, this makes it seem like people are mumbling or not annunciating clearly.

Common Sounds Have Disappeared

Have the birds and crickets all gone away? There are a lot of sounds, such as chirps, bird songs, the turn signal on your car, the hum of the refrigerator motor, or even the noise of your car’s engine running, that disappear when you begin to lose your hearing. Sounds at frequencies of 2,000 Hz or higher tend to go first.

Difficulty Understanding Women and Children

Is it nearly impossible to keep up with conversations involving women or children? Women and children tend to speak at higher frequencies than men. This means that those with a hearing loss will have more difficulty distinguishing between consonants, as we already mentioned, and whole words and phrases spoken by women and children.

Difficulty with Conversations in Crowded Rooms

Have you started to avoid social gatherings, family get-togethers, or going out to eat? The discomfort and frustration of trying to maintain a conversation in a restaurant or during a social gathering is the result of having difficulty distinguishing conversations when there is a lot of background noise. Many people with hearing loss stay away from places where there is a lot of talk and other background noises.

Exhaustion and Increased Neck Tension

Are you frequently exhausted and have neck pain? When a person with a hearing loss works to keep up with conversations, they tend to strain as they concentrate on sorting out what others are saying. This straining leads to an increase in fatigue and can cause a lot of tension in the neck and shoulders.

Ringing in Your Ears

Is there a ringing, buzzing, hissing, or humming sound in your ears that never goes away? More than 50 million people suffer from this condition, known as tinnitus. Tinnitus is a common symptom associated with age-related deterioration, or noise-induced or injury-induced hearing loss. Researchers speculate that tinnitus could be the brain’s way of filling in missing frequencies that are no longer present due to deterioration or damage.

Phone Call Avoidance

Have phone conversations become frustrating? When we speak with someone face to face, we receive non-verbal cues to help us sort out what the person is saying. These non-verbal cues are absent when talking on the phone, making us rely only on our hearing, which means we miss out on essential parts of the conversation.

Schedule a Hearing Test

Although experiencing one or several of these conditions are indicators of hearing loss, the only way to be sure is to have your hearing tested. Even if you do not have a hearing loss, regular hearing tests help me to establish a baseline for measuring future development while also allowing me to provide you with preventative solutions to protect your hearing from further damage. This is especially true for individuals whose occupation and lifestyle involves exposure to loud noises. Contact me to learn more about the common warning signs of hearing loss or to schedule an appointment for a hearing test.

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Monica Walker

Monica Walker

After many years of working in busy environments to care for thousands of people’s hearing across Atlanta, I made the decision to focus on what actually matters – building real-world relationships to offer the highest level of hearing care available to trusted friends. Through the “HEARoeClub,” I work hands-on to personally care for a small number of incredible people to help them achieve better hearing, and going above and beyond to deliver much more than just hearing care.