What are the five signs of hearing loss?

Are you noticing changes in your hearing? You might be experiencing early signs of hearing loss.

The hairs or nerve cells located in the cochlea that send sound impulses to the brain may deteriorate with age and exposure to loud noise. Hearing loss results from the ineffective transmission of electrical impulses when these are broken or damaged.

Higher-pitched sounds might sound muted or you might find it challenging to distinguish words over the background noise. Since hearing loss associated with aging happens gradually, you might not first notice it. 

Symptoms of hearing loss may vary depending on the type and severity. Below are the five most common signs of hearing loss in no particular order:

  1. Speech and other noises become muffled.
  2. Comprehending words is difficult, especially in noisy environments or when surrounded there are multiple persons speaking at the same time.
  3. Difficulties hearing consonants.
  4. Frequently requesting louder, clearer, and slower speech from others.
  5. Needing the radio or television to be turned up loud.

The Process of Hearing

Understanding how you hear can help you get a clearer picture of how hearing loss occurs and how you can prevent it from happening. 

The outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear are the three main components of your ear. The eardrum vibrates as sound waves travel through the outer ear. The vibrations are amplified on their way to the inner ear by the eardrum and tiny middle ear bones. The vibrations continue to be passed on to the inner ear (cochlea) through the fluid o

Thousands of microscopic hairs attached to cochlea nerve cells help in the conversion of sound vibrations into electrical impulses that are sent to the brain. Through these inputs, the brain interprets the signals into sounds. If there are any issues during the transmission of the signals, hearing problems may occur.

Hearing Loss and Risk Factors

Now that you are already familiar with the five signs of hearing loss, you need to be aware of the risk factors so you can avoid it and save yourself from untimely hearing problems.

  • Exposure to loud noise: Your inner ear’s cells can become damaged if you are exposed to loud noises. Long-term or sudden exposure to loud noises can equally cause hearing damage that could lead to permanent hearing loss. Individuals who are exposed to sudden loud noises (i.e gun explosion, fireworks) usually observe a ringing or buzzing in their ears right after the exposure. Muffled hearing may also be experienced. When this happens, seek medical assistance right away as this type of hearing loss may be irreversible if not treated right away.
  • Occupational noises: Working in industries like farming, construction, or factories where high noise is a common occurrence might harm your ears and put you at risk to hearing loss. Using the appropriate hearing protection is the best way to lessen your exposure to hearing damage. The best way to protect yourself from hearing loss is to limit how long and how loud you are exposed to. Earplugs or earmuffs can help shield your ears from harmful sounds at work. You may consult with an audiologist to ensure that you are using the correct hearing protection that can shield your ears from dangerous decibels.
  • Ototoxic medications: The inner ear can be affected by medications including the antibiotic gentamicin, sildenafil (Viagra), and several chemotherapy treatments. If you use extremely high dosages of aspirin, other painkillers, antimalarial medications, or loop diuretics, you may experience temporary hearing symptoms such as ringing in the ears (tinnitus), or hearing loss.

Noticing signs of hearing loss?

Seek professional help!

Hearing loss can be a cunning thief. It can gradually take your hearing away in such tiny amounts until you find yourself struggling to understand speech and turning up the volume too loud for comfort. 

We highly recommend getting your hearing tested regularly.

Seek immediate medical assistance if you experience a sudden loss of hearing, specifically in one ear.

Audiologists in Plantsville, CT

Hearing Health & Wellness Center, located in Plantsville, CT, is the most comprehensive resource for hearing healthcare in central Connecticut.

We take pride in offering the most advanced hearing instruments and audiological services. From hearing aids and accessories to hearing loss prevention, we offer you one-stop-convenience for all your hearing needs.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Start Your Path To Better Hearing

Our approach to caring for people with communication difficulties is centered on mutual respect for the individual and their specific needs. Contact us today.

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Start Your Path To Better Hearing

Our approach to caring for people with communication difficulties is centered on mutual respect for the individual and their specific needs. Contact us today.

Learn more about how we can help.

Hearing Health & Wellness Center provides comprehensive preventative, diagnostic, and rehabilitation hearing services for pediatric and adult patients. Call us today to schedule your appointment.