As your hearing capacity declines, the lack of various sounds causes your brain to adapt and adjust in order to overcome the deficiency. Because this occurs over an extended period of time, you are not consciously aware of the changes until verbal communication becomes a challenge. For this reason, coworkers, friends, and family will probably notice your hearing loss before you do. Hearing loss can produce serious mental and physical health issues, so it is crucial to identify and seek help early. To encourage Sacramento area residents to follow the advice of their loved ones, here is a list of hearing loss indicators to make you more aware that you could have a hearing problem.

“What did you say?”

If you have noticed that others are speaking too softly or what they say is unclear, you are probably struggling with hearing loss. Frequently asking others to repeat themselves annoys you as much as it does them. Noting how often you ask for clarity during a conversation will help you become more aware of the problem and seek help.

Continuous Ringing or Buzzing Sounds

Tinnitus, often described as a continuous ringing, buzzing, hissing, or humming sound inside your head, is a common symptom of early-stage hearing loss. Though not a direct cause of hearing loss, 80% of individuals with hearing loss also have tinnitus.

Withdrawing from Family Gatherings and Social Events

When a night out, social events, or family gatherings are no longer enjoyable for people with hearing loss, they tend to come up with excuses not to attend. The reason they do so is that background noise in these settings makes it difficult to follow conversations, which causes those with hearing loss to strain to keep up. Headaches, tension, and exhaustion from straining decrease the enjoyment and cause individuals with hearing loss to withdraw.

Prefer Face-to-Face Instead of Phone  Conversations

Are you avoiding the use of the phone because you prefer face-to-face conversations? Whether you are conscious of it or not, you rely on non-verbal cues to understand conversations. A telephone call eliminates those non-verbal cues forcing you to rely on pure sound. If you are not hearing well, you are likely to struggle during telephone conversations, but not struggle when conversing with someone who is sitting in front of you.

Difficulty Understanding Face-to-Face Conversations

Are people saying really odd things with greater frequency? Though people do make odd statements, that is usually the exception rather than the rule. When you hear strange words, phrases, and sentences, there are two likely causes. You might be having trouble distinguishing one consonant from another, causing you to hear a different word than the one used, or you could be missing entire words or phrases because they are spoken at a higher-pitch beyond your range of hearing. The second is a common problem when speaking with women and children. Both problems are classic indicators of hearing loss.

Coworkers, Friends and Family Are Harassing You to Have Your Hearing Checked

Though they aren’t always tactful in their approach, those who care about you notice that you are struggling with your hearing and they want you to seek help. Your best option to get them off your back or to come to terms with the problem is to schedule a hearing assessment and learn the truth.

Gold Country Hearing Diagnoses Hearing Loss

Experiencing one or several of these issues is a good indication that you might have hearing loss, but the only way to know the truth is to have your hearing tested. Gold Country Hearing has locations in Grass Valley, Lodi, Rocklin, and Sacramento staffed with audiologists capable of diagnosing hearing loss and providing the help you need in order to restore a better quality of living. Contact us if you or a loved one is experiencing any of these early indicators so we can respond to your questions or assist in scheduling a comprehensive hearing assessment.

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Dr Kimberly Bonney

Dr. Kimberly Bonney graduated with her Master’s Degree in 2001 from CSU Sacramento and worked at a non-profit hearing center in Sacramento. She then began working as an educational audiologist in Placer and Nevada County schools where she found working with children who were deaf and hard of hearing to be very rewarding.