Audiology Associates Inc of MO

The Only Locally Owned and Operated Audiology Practice in the Region

 

How to Recognize Hearing Problems?

a hand and ear

Hearing loss is something that nearly 50 million Americans experience, and you likely know somebody who experiences some degree of hearing loss. The severity of such hearing loss can vary, and not everybody who has hearing problems may require a hearing aid. However, as hearing loss has the potential to affect your life, it is always worth recognizing hearing issues. 

Speech or sounds are muffled

Muffled speech and sounds are some of the most obvious signs of hearing problems, and they could indicate the early stages of hearing loss. 

Problems hearing high-pitched sounds

People who do not experience hearing loss can hear a broad range of pitches across the noise spectrum. However, people who experience hearing loss, both mild and severe, may struggle to hear higher-pitched noise. 

Struggling to hear or follow a conversation

If you find yourself regularly struggling to follow a conversation regardless of how close you are to people, it could be an indication that you are experiencing hearing loss. Typically, such problems are exacerbated when in a large group or a crowded area, as there is too much background noise to adequately distinguish speech and identify who is saying what. 

Unable to hear speech over the phone

In most instances, it is easy to hear and understand speech over the phone, and the only issues come from a poor connection. However, people who experience hearing loss, even if they do not realize it yet, will have difficulties hearing what the person on the other end is saying, even with the speaker right next to their ear. 

Requiring people to repeat themselves or speak slower

Likewise, you may find yourself asking people to repeat themselves when you are talking to them, even if you are concentrating on everything they are saying. If you need them to repeat themselves and still find you are struggling, you may ask them to speak slower and more clearly so you can identify every sound they are making to better understand what they have said. 

Finding you need to concentrate on what people are saying

People who experience hearing loss will find that they need to really concentrate on what people are saying or what is on the TV or radio. They cannot passively listen to sounds, whether speech or music and get a general idea of what is said. Over time, such concentration can become exhausting and even detrimental. It becomes too much effort to focus on what is being said, and this can discourage you. 

Issues distinguishing consonants

One factor of hearing loss that your audiologist could point out is that you realize that it is challenging to distinguish similar-sounding consonants. Most often, this is between the f and s sounds, but it could also be p and t or even sh and th. However, it’s likely that you have not realized this yet, as you can usually understand what the word is supposed to be through conversational context.

Turning up the volume on the TV or radio

Turning up the volume on the TV, radio or listening to music with and without headphones is another common sign of hearing loss. It is especially noticeable if you have never done so before, and even had a preferred set volume on your devices. If you find that you still struggle to hear the sounds from the TV, radio or another device even on the highest volume setting, it could be an indicator of hearing loss. 

Experiencing ringing in the ears

Tinnitus is the sensation of experiencing ringing, hissing, whooshing or something similar in the ears following a loud noise. It could also be a sign of hearing loss. While tinnitus is not permanent for everybody, anyone who finds such unusual noises in their ear for a prolonged period may be experiencing early-onset hearing loss. 

Finding you have hypersensitivity to specific sounds

While most people associate hearing loss with being unable to hear sounds distinctly, another sign of hearing loss is hypersensitivity to specific noises and sounds. Typically, these are loud sounds that startle you but are not considered strange or unusual by others. Such sensitivity is known as hyperacusis, and it can be painful and cause discomfort while also being evidence of potential hearing loss. 

Get in touch today

If you or someone you know is currently showing signs of hearing loss, get in touch with Audiology Associates today to learn more about our service. Give us a call at 573-332-7000 to discover more about our range of ITE, BTE or ITC hearing aids and how we can help you.