Have you been finding it harder to listen to conversations in a crowded room? Do you strain to hear the sounds of birds chirping? These may be signs that point to hearing loss. Learn more about your hearing and what you can do to protect your ears!
Difficulty understanding words during conversation
It’s not uncommon to miss a few words here or there when talking with a friend. Bars and other noisy settings are notorious for their ability to make conversations impossible. However, if you are struggling to hear people speak in quiet settings and find yourself having to ask them to repeat what they said multiple times, you may be experiencing hearing loss.
Difficulty hearing certain devices
Alarm clocks and movie theaters are designed to be loud. If you find yourself repeatedly struggling to understand what’s going on during a movie, it may mean you have trouble picking up certain frequencies. If you wake up late every morning despite having a fully functional alarm clock it might be that your ears normally don’t pick up high-frequency sounds.
A decrease in extroversion
Do you suddenly find yourself shying away from conversations because it is more difficult to understand them? Hearing loss can make new social interactions (which can already feel tense) seem even more uncomfortable when you are struggling to hear multiple people at once.
In fact, one study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that hard of hearing senior citizens that did not rely on hearing aids experienced a drop in their extroversion.
Loss of balance
If you feel a bit dizzy or off balance while walking in a straight line, this might point to hearing loss. Loss of balance is mostly related to medical conditions such as acoustic neuroma and Ménière’s disease. Ménière’s disease, in particular, can cause pressure in the ears as well as vertigo and dizziness.
Pain in one or both ears
If you are experiencing ear pain, it is possible that you might have an ear infection. Infections like otitis media often occur in the middle ear and can lead to hearing loss. Ear infections are very common in children and can result in fevers or irritability.
Your hearing loss may be genetic or age-related, but there are a number of other surprising factors that can affect your hearing. Obesity, exposure to loud music for extended periods, smoking and even drugs like Aspirin and Advil can take a toll on your ears.
Avoiding loud stimuli for long amounts of time and taking breaks in between exposures to loud music can help you maintain your hearing.
If you feel like you are suffering from some form of hearing loss, get your ears checked right away. Hearing loss can sometimes be a symptom of head trauma, bone damage, and other conditions that require medical attention. Even after a diagnosis from your doctor, it is important that you continue to get your hearing checked regularly by an audiologist.
The sooner you get hearing aids, the safer your hearing will be! Leaving hearing loss unaddressed can lead to other health issues like depression and dementia. In many cases, hearing loss can even be resolved by surgery or other forms of treatment.