More than 48 million Americans are currently experiencing hearing loss. For many, their hearing loss develops so subtly that they are unaware of the condition for some time. Being able to recognize the early signs of hearing loss can help you seek treatment in a timely manner.
Below are the five most common early signs of hearing loss.
Voices Sound Muffled
Hearing loss is caused by damage to the tiny hair cells within the cochlea. These cells are responsible for detecting high-pitched sounds, like the voices of children and women. Voices may begin to sound muffled as you can no longer detect the subtle differences in sounds.
Conversation Is Hard to Follow
Many speech sounds (specifically f and s) are high-pitched, while background noise is generally low-pitched. When you have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds, you will hear background noises more clearly than the speech sounds, making it hard to follow a conversation in a restaurant or other loud environment.
Social Events Are Exhausting
When you have trouble hearing, your brain has to work extra hard to try to make sense of what’s happening around you with missing information. This takes a lot of focus, which requires a lot of mental energy. This can leave you feeling tired after a social event, especially if you try to carry on a conversation with more than person at a time.
Lip Reading Is More Important Than Eye Contact
When your brain does not get enough information from the ears, it utilizes your other senses to try to piece together what is happening. If you can’t understand everything someone is saying, your brain will focus on their lips, as lip reading can help fill in the gaps.
If you are focused on trying to read someone’s lips, you are no longer looking them in the eyes while they are speaking to you. This can make for an uncomfortable situation.
The Volume on the TV Is Turned Up
Dialogue, sound effects and background music are often all played at one time in your favorite TV show. The music and sound effects can easily drown out the dialogue, as the high-pitched tones of speech are hard to hear. In order to follow the show, you may find that you are constantly turning the volume on the television up to an unsafe level.
If you have noticed you are experiencing any of these five early signs of hearing loss, now is the time to do something about it. Contact the experts at Bountiful Hearing Center today to get started.