Many people with hearing loss do not receive the treatment they need. In fact, some estimates claim that fewer than 1 in 5 people with hearing loss use the hearing aids that would help them function and communicate. Why is this number so low? One of the reasons that too few people use hearing aids is that they don’t realize that hearing is a problem. Although you might assume that those with hearing loss would be aware of their situation, many people do not recognize hearing loss soon enough. We know that the sooner you get treatment for hearing loss, the better able you will be to avoid other negative consequences for health and wellbeing. With this fact in mind, we are all wise to remain vigilant for early signs of hearing loss. Although these indicators are not conclusive determinations of hearing loss, they are enough cause to schedule a hearing test and find out about your current hearing ability.
Communication issues are some of the earliest warning signs of hearing loss. If you find yourself asking others to repeat themselves, speak up, or come closer when they talk, hearing loss might be the underlying cause. Of course, external circumstances can be enough to make communication difficult for anyone from time to time, including background noise or a chaotic sonic environment. Yet, if you find yourself the only one struggling to hear others speak, then hearing loss might be working behind the scenes as an obstacle. Those who feel frustration, anger, or dissatisfaction with conversations can also benefit from a hearing test. These feelings tend to accompany the struggle to communicate when hearing is an issue.
Those who have undiagnosed hearing loss tend to turn up the volume on their devices to a level that is uncomfortable for others in the room. The television is a classic example. If your friends or family members mention that the television is very loud, it is possible that you are using the volume control to accommodate undiagnosed hearing loss. Similarly, radios, Bluetooth speakers, and other media amplification can be turned to a high level that is bothersome to others. If you use headphones or earbuds with your smartphone or other media device, take a look at the volume level you select. If you find that you are raising the volume to near the maximum just to get a sufficient volume from these devices, then hearing loss might explain why that volume is so high.
Fatigue and Social Isolation
Finally, undiagnosed hearing loss can create a general sense of exhaustion in the sounding world, particularly in communication settings. The scramble to understand what others are saying can cause a mess in the mental landscape, amounting to an indecipherable jumble of sound. Trying to turn these random sounds into understandable language is enough to create mental fatigue. Some people even find themselves avoiding social gatherings and conversations altogether. Rather than experiencing the frustration, embarrassment, anxiety, and exhaustion that come with social interaction, some people prefer to stay away from these encounters. If you have found yourself feeling reluctant to attend social gatherings due to the exhaustion they cause, you might want to schedule a hearing test. Although you can experience social exhaustion for any number of reasons, undiagnosed hearing loss is one of them. Getting a test is the only way to determine the reason for the exhaustion you feel in those circumstances.
When you notice an early warning sign of hearing loss, you may or may not have undiagnosed hearing loss. The only way to get an accurate understanding of your hearing ability is to schedule a test. This exam is easy, quick, and totally painless. In most cases, you will be asked to gesture when you hear a range of sounds, a test called “pure tone audiometry.” Your responses to these sounds will be enough to determine if you can hear sounds of different volumes in different frequency ranges. When you are ready to schedule your hearing test, simply contact our offices to make an appointment. We will guide you through the process from diagnosis to a recommendation of treatment, if necessary.