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If you suffer from hearing loss, you would imagine it would be obvious, right?

Actually, that’s exactly the issue; most people think it would. However, although severe or sudden hearing loss is easy to recognize, mild to moderate gradual hearing loss can be far too subtle to notice. That’s the reason why, on average, people will wait five years or longer from the beginning of symptoms to search for help.

Picture hearing loss as a gradual leak in a tire. It’s challenging to detect the day to day changes, and it’s only when the tire goes flat, and your car is no longer drivable, that you decide to take action.

Regrettably, whereas tires are replaceable, your hearing is not. It can be in some measure restored, but the sooner you attend to your hearing loss the more of your hearing you’ll restore.

So how can you notice the symptoms of early-stage hearing loss? The following are some of the hidden signs that indicate you should get a hearing exam.

1. Difficulty hearing specific sounds

Frequently people believe that hearing loss impacts all types of sounds. So, if you can hear some sounds normally, you believe you can hear all sounds normally.

Do not get stuck into this manner of thinking. The fact is that hearing loss predominately affects higher-frequency sounds. You might observe that you have particular difficulty hearing the voices of women and children, as an example, owing to the higher pitch of their voices.

This may possibly lead you to believe that the individuals you can’t hear are mumbling, when in truth, you have high-frequency hearing loss.

2. Relying on context to comprehend speech

Somebody is talking from behind you and you can’t comprehend what they’re saying until you turn around. You have to rely on body language, and possibly lip reading, for additional information used to fill in the blanks.

Speech is comprised of a range of frequencies, from low to high, with consonants representing the high frequencies and vowels representing the low frequencies. The issue for those with high-frequency hearing loss is that consonants impart the most meaning yet are the most challenging to hear.

If you have hearing loss, speech comprehension is comparable to reading a sentence with missing letters. For the most part, you’ll get it right, but when you don’t, you may discover yourself responding inappropriately or requesting people to repeat themselves frequently. You might also experience difficulty hearing on the phone.

3. Difficulty hearing in busy settings

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

You might find that it’s overwhelming to hear in group settings or in loud environments like restaurants or social gatherings. The contending sounds and background noise are muffling your already affected hearing, making it exceptionally difficult to focus on any single source of sound.

4. Listening Fatigue

Last, you may observe that you’re more fatigued than normal after work or after participation in group settings. For individuals with hearing loss, the chronic battle to hear, combined with the effort to understand incomplete sounds, can create extreme exhaustion, which is a non-obvious symptom of hearing loss.

Hearing loss is gradual and ends up being more complicated to treat the longer you delay. If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, even if they’re only mild, we strongly recommend scheduling a hearing test. By taking action earlier, you can preserve your hearing and stay connected to your loved ones.