Hearing loss—an inability to hear sounds correctly or at all—can happen to anyone and at any age. You may think of it as an ailment that affects seniors, but that’s not necessarily true. Some 34 million of all people who have hearing loss are children. While some people are born with hearing impairments, and most lose some portion of their hearing in old age, it can also affect you as a young adult.
It’s a good idea to be aware of the external causes—like constant exposure to loud sounds or listening to music loudly through headphones—so you can try to prevent it. It’s also important to know the most common symptoms to see when you need a hearing test or should visit an audiologist. Read on for some signs of hearing loss you should know.
Muffled hearing is a symptom of hearing loss that crops up due to age or prolonged exposure to loud noises. It’s not always a symptom of hearing impairments, so don’t panic the minute you begin to experience it. Sometimes it’s just a cold or an ear infection. A buildup of wax can also muffle your hearing, but softening and clearing out the wax usually helps fix it.
Sometimes, the muffled hearing can be symptomatic of an issue like tinnitus. If it doesn’t improve with time and ear cleanings, you may need an online hearing screening to figure out whether it’s due to hearing loss. A doctor’s visit can help determine whether it’s permanent and if you need a hearing aid.
If you have a cold, your earache is probably related to a sinus issue. However, not all earaches are simply symptoms or results of common illnesses, so it’s crucial to learn how to tell the difference. If the pain is sharp, worsens when you lie down, is constant, and you don’t have an ear infection, you may have a hearing impairment.
If you aren’t sure whether your symptoms are a sign of hearing impairment or another underlying disease, it’s a good idea to use an online symptom checker like MediFind. It will also help you determine what new treatments you can opt for and make an informed decision about when to see an audiologist.
Sometimes, a ringing in the ear could be the after-effects of passing by a loud construction site or sitting next to a booming speaker at an indoor event. However, it’s essential to keep track of how long it lasts. If you often hear a ringing in your ears (or even in one ear) and it isn’t because of any external sounds around you, you may need to visit an audiologist.
You can hear sounds clearly, but do you sometimes have trouble hearing the precise words when someone is speaking? It’s not always easy to pinpoint this as a symptom of hearing loss, but it’s a common sign of hearing issues. It occurs because of damage to your auditory nerve and means that while you hear all sounds, you can no longer perceive every word and phrase correctly.
Not all the symptoms of hearing loss involve physical pain. An inability to hear correctly can also lead to issues like social anxiety and behavioral problems. If you’ve suddenly felt like being around other people is too stressful because you have to ask them to repeat themselves, or loud sounds are irritating you, you may be beginning to suffer from hearing loss. If you feel anxious whenever you’re around other people, it’s a good idea to take a hearing screening to see if this issue is related to hearing loss.