Hearing loss can be either, conductive, sensorineural or a combination of the two. Sensorineural refers to an issue with the auditory nerve or the inner ear. The nerve signals function to transfer sound information to the brain, and with sensorineural hearing loss, the signals are weaker. Conductive hearing loss is caused by damage to the middle or outer parts of the ear. Such damages stop sounds from reaching the inner ear properly. Hearing loss will vary in degree from mild to severe.
It’s a common misconception that only those with severe hearing loss can benefit from wearing a hearing aid. Many adults with mild to medium hearing loss avoid seeking help. Hearing loss can gradually get worse over time, so it’s a better idea to look for help as soon as you notice that something is wrong. When your hearing starts to suffer, there are a few warning signs to look out for.
Straining to listen
When you have hearing loss, you may find yourself straining to listen. Difficulty following a conversation will be particularly noticeable when in crowds. You may find that it’s hard to follow who is speaking to you or to separate their voices from background noises. It may be that you are having to put a lot of effort into following a conversation. You may find that you are always feeling tired due to the effort of listening hard. When the fatigue due to basic listening is persistent, it’s time to get a hearing test.
Perhaps you can hear people fine, but you are frequently misunderstanding what’s being said? Often when you have hearing loss, it’s sometimes hard to distinguish consonants that have soft sounds like ‘th’ or ‘sh’ for example. You might hear a phrase that’s similar to what the person has said, but still incorrect. It could be that the words spoken are loud enough for you to hear, but that sometimes the clarity isn’t so great.
Tinnitus is a condition whereby you will hear sounds inside your ears which could include ringing, buzzing or clicking. Tinnitus is sometimes a warning factor that you could have some degree of hearing loss. It’s not always the case that tinnitus means hearing loss, but it’s better to get yourself checked out. You should seek to learn more about tinnitus and see an audiologist if you suspect that you have the condition.
Those with hearing loss often begin to experience trouble with technology. For example, others might comment that you always have your T.V or music turned on too loud. When you are on the telephone, you might struggle to hear the caller. Perhaps you are often asking people to repeat themselves? It may also appear that people are mumbling when they speak to you.
If you’ve experienced any of these problems, the best thing to do is to make an appointment with an audiologist. An audiologist can determine both the cause of your hearing loss and provide a treatment that’s catered to your needs. A hearing aid will help you to improve your hearing and to eliminate the frustration and stress of the issue.