According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 15% of Americans ages 18 and over report some trouble hearing. Yet despite the prevalence of hearing loss, only about 20% of people who could benefit from hearing aids actually wears them, and those who do wait an average of 10 years.
It’s important to watch out for the early signs of hearing loss and seek treatment promptly, as untreated hearing loss is associated with anxiety, depression, falls and even dementia. We review the early signs of hearing loss below.
You Mishear Frequently
Many people with mild hearing loss report that they can hear, but not always understand. This is because high-frequency sounds are often the first to go, making it difficult to decipher whether you heard the word “show” or “throw.” This may cause you to mishear and respond inappropriately during conversations. You may have hearing loss if people seem confused when you’re talking to them.
You Have Trouble in Noisy Places
A notoriously challenging listening situation for people with hearing loss is crowded places. When you have to contend with other conversations happening in the background, dishes clanging at your table and noise from the kitchen, it can be hard to follow what your conversation partner across the table is saying.
Talking on the Phone Is Challenging
Another challenging listening situation for people with hearing loss is talking on the phone. This is because you may be relying on visual cues and not even know it, and over phone calls, these visuals – like the movement of people’s mouths, their facial expressions and their gestures – are missing.
You’re Missing Certain Noises
Consider this: when was the last time you heard birds chirping, leaves rustling or the hum of your refrigerator? If you realize it’s been a while since you’ve heard certain softer noises you could hear before, it’s time to schedule a hearing exam.
Listening Is Exhausting
Many people with hearing loss experience a phenomenon audiologists refer to as listening fatigue. Listening fatigue describes the exhaustion you feel after straining to listen, follow along and keep up with conversations.
For more information or to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive hearing exam with an audiologist, call Certified Hearing Aid & Audiology Associates today.