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How to Recognize the Signs of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can happen to anyone at any age and affect one’s quality of life, health, relationships, and career. Many people who experience hearing loss do not pick up on the signs until their lives are negatively affected. Just like any medical condition, the sooner you address your hearing loss, the better chance for improved treatment outcomes. 

Types of hearing loss

People of all ages experience a gradual loss in their ability to hear, often due to the natural aging process or exposure to loud noise. Sensorineural and conductive hearing loss are the two most common types of hearing loss.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear or the nerve from the ear to the brain is damaged. This type of hearing damage is permanent and is typically a result of old age, genes, birth defects, disease processes, and noise exposure. In this type of hearing loss, higher-pitched tones may sound muffled, and it may become difficult to discern words against background noise. 

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when the passage of sound becomes blocked in the ear canal or in the middle ear. This blockage could be fluid, ear wax, tissue, or a bony growth. This hearing loss is often referred to as temporary or transient hearing loss because it can often be treated by removing the blockage.

Recognizing hearing loss in your daily life

The symptoms of hearing loss can easily be overlooked and dismissed. Just because you may have trouble hearing a few words here and there doesn’t necessarily mean you are losing your hearing permanently. Here are some specific hearing loss signs that you can identify in your daily life:

Trouble hearing in noisy environments

You are trying to enjoy dinner with your family, but all the background noises are making it difficult for you to hear everyone at the table. Those with hearing loss tend to have problems masking background noise and focusing solely on speech. 

Feeling lost and confused in conversation

Getting a little lost in the conversation is totally normal because our ability to process multiple incoming and competing signals deteriorates over time. However, if you are having trouble keeping up with a simple dinner or work conversation, you may have hearing loss.

Turning up the TV or music louder than others seem necessary

Some television programs can be hard to follow, especially when the actors have a soft voice or music is drowning out the dialogue. Turning up the TV to understand a particular scene is okay, but when you constantly need the TV turned up so loud that it’s uncomfortable for others in the room, it is probably time for a hearing test.

You often ask people to repeat themselves during conversation

Do you find yourself asking friends and family “what” a lot? This could mean that you aren’t getting the sound signals you need to process speech correctly. 

Feeling tired after a long day of conversing with others

When you are constantly straining to hear and follow conversations, you can feel physically and mentally beat by the end of the day. If a typical day of conversing with friends and family leaves you with a headache or feeling fatigued, you may benefit from a hearing check.

If you are experiencing a majority of these signs, you may be experiencing hearing loss. It is important to understand what is causing your loss of hearing and how you can manage it. Act today and make an appointment with Dr. Marc Dean at the Ear and Sinus Institute to get your hearing back on track.

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Call Us to Schedule an Appointment: (817) 332-4060
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