Most time, you are the last person to realize you have hearing loss. Hearing loss typically comes on very gradually over many years. The changes happen a little at a time and often you do not realize the sounds you are missing until you hear them again! By the time you recognize you are having difficulty hearing, the people around you have known it for years! There are several things you can look for along the way.
Do you have difficulty understanding conversation in certain situations such as groups or noisy places? Do you struggle to understand someone who is not looking at you? Does it sound like people are mumbling or not speaking clearly? Losing hearing in the high frequencies affects the clarity of the words. You can hear the vowels just fine, but not the consonants. Did you say thin or fin, mouth or mouse?
Tinnitus, or noises in the ears or head, can be a symptom of high frequency hearing loss. Tinnitus and high frequency hearing loss is more common in people who have been exposed to loud noise, but anyone can experience it. You can also have tinnitus with normal hearing.
Difficulty hearing pitched sound, such as bird songs, sirens, or alarms may indicate hearing loss.
Does your family complain of how loud you like the TV? I find this is one of the first areas where hearing loss can be noticed. Even with mild hearing loss, understanding TV becomes more difficult.
Everyone should have a baseline test. Even if your hearing is good, it establishes a baseline for comparison in the future. In Tampa Bay call Gardner Audiology at 800-277-1182 to schedule yours today!