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The Hidden Signs of Hearing Loss

June 16, 2016

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If you have hearing loss, you would assume it would be obvious, right?

Actually, that’s exactly the issue; most people presume it would. However, even though severe or abrupt hearing loss is easy to identify, mild to moderate gradual hearing loss can be too subtle to observe. That’s the reason why, on average, people will wait more than five years from the beginning of symptoms to seek help.

Imagine hearing loss as a gradual leak in a tire. It’s challenging to detect the everyday changes, and it’s only when the tire becomes flat, and your car is no longer drivable, that you choose to act.

Regrettably, whereas tires are replaceable, your hearing is not. It can be to a certain extent restored, but the earlier you treat your hearing loss the more of your hearing you’ll get back.

So how can you discover the symptoms of early-stage hearing loss? Here are several of the hidden signs that suggest you should consider a professional hearing test.

1. Difficulties hearing specific sounds

Commonly people think that hearing loss affects all types of sounds. So, if you can hear some sounds normally, you believe you can hear all sounds normally.

Don’t get trapped into this manner of thinking. The reality is that hearing loss principally affects higher-frequency sounds. You may discover that you have particular difficulty hearing the voices of women and children, for instance, due to the higher pitch.

This may lead you to think that the people you can’t hear are mumbling, when the reality is, you have high-frequency hearing loss.

2. Depending on context to comprehend speech

Someone is talking from behind you and you can’t understand what they’re saying unless you turn around and face them. You have to rely on body language, and potentially lip reading, for extra information to fill in the blanks.

Speech is comprised of an array of frequencies, from low to high, with consonants representing the high frequencies and vowels representing the low frequencies. The problem for those with high-frequency hearing loss is that consonants transmit the the majority of the meaning yet are the most difficult to hear.

If you have hearing loss, speech comprehension is much like reading a sentence with missing letters. Most of the time, you’ll get it right, but when you don’t, you may find yourself replying inappropriately or requesting people to repeat themselves regularly. You may also experience difficulty hearing on the phone.

3. Difficulty hearing in busy settings

With mild hearing loss, you can typically decipher what other people are saying, albeit with a lot of effort. As soon as background noise is introduced, however, the task usually becomes overwhelming.

You might discover that it’s difficult to hear in group settings or in noisy environments like restaurants or parties. The contending sounds and background noise are muffling your already affected hearing, making it highly difficult to concentrate on any single source of sound.

4. Listening Fatigue

Last, you may observe that you’re more tired than normal after work or after engagement in group settings. For people with hearing loss, the continuing battle to hear, combined with the effort to grasp incomplete sounds, can produce severe exhaustion, which is a non-obvious symptom of hearing loss.


Hearing loss is progressive and ends up being more complicated to treat the longer you wait. If you have any of these signs and symptoms, even if they’re only mild, we strongly suggest scheduling a hearing test. By acting sooner, you can preserve your hearing and stay connected to your loved ones.

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