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Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013

Signs of Hearing Loss

Multigeneration family learns signs of hearing loss.

If you’re not sure whether or not you have hearing loss, you’re not alone. Although it would seem easy to determine diminished hearing, the signs, especially when happening over time, are often subtle. So subtle that people compensate for hearing loss without even recognizing what they are doing. That's why it's important to know the signs of hearing loss.

Television Volume--Needing to turn the television up louder than others say is comfortable can be a sign of hearing loss. This is also the easiest sign to ignore as the person who does this is more likely to blame the television than their own ears.

Tinnitus-- A ringing or buzzing in the ears that can be high pitched. It is sometimes accompanied by vertigo, and can be intermittent or steady. Tinnitus can be a sign of hearing loss or a sign that you need to start protecting your hearing.

Inability to Hear High-Pitched Sounds-- A phone ringing, a child's cry, the trill of a bird are all high-pitched sounds that can begin to fade as a person develops hearing loss. Missing phone calls or struggling to hear any high-pitched sounds is an immediate warning sign of hearing loss.

Asking to Have Things Repeated-- Having to frequently ask people to repeat things can be embarrassing. This discomfort means that people can ignore this sign of hearing loss or try to cover it up. If your loved one asks you to repeat parts of conversations or responds inappropriately to things said, it is time to see an audiologist about this sign of hearing loss.

Inability to Hear Female or Child Voices--Females and children speak in a higher register, so one of the first signs of hearing loss is the inability to hear these higher pitched voices. If you or your loved one consistently feels that women or children are mumbling around you, see an audiologist, because this is a sign of hearing loss.

Inability to Understand in Crowds-- Not being able to hear what people are saying in a crowded restaurant or room is one of the most frustrating things about hearing loss. It is also why many people begin to avoid socializing. This withdraw can lead to depression and isolation. This sign of hearing loss can have an impact on mental well-being.

Depression-- According to Dr. Claudia Dewane in her article Hearing Loss in Older Adults--Its Effect on Mental Health, "Hearing loss can create a psychological solitary confinement." This confinement can lead to feelings of depression that are quite often misconstrued, so that the sign of hearing loss goes recognized.

Forgetfulness-- Research done on Alzheimer's and dementia show that there is an increased risk of these conditions if a person is suffering from hearing loss. According to Dr. Jonathan Peelle that's because, “Even subtle changes in hearing appear to have an impact on the brain.” This is yet another important reason to familiarize yourself and loved ones with the signs of hearing loss.

If you have noticed any of these signs of hearing loss, it is important to get help for yourself or a loved one. Untreated hearing loss is tied to depression, lower quality of life, isolation, Alzheimer's, and dementia. If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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