Hearing Loss Red Flags

People with hearing loss in Burbank aren’t always aware of their condition, and this can lead to problems. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to a variety of physical, psychological and social side effects. The sooner you recognize the signs, the more likely you are to avoid these potentially debilitating side effects.

Hearing Loss Develops Gradually

Red flag with help spelled out with matches

Most cases of hearing loss in Burbank develop so gradually, it can be difficult to notice. The human brain is a remarkable organ; when hearing declines, it helps “fill in the blanks” by diverting cognitive resources from other areas such as memory and concentration. No wonder it takes an average of seven years from the onset of hearing loss for Burbank residents to seek medical treatment.

Learning to spot the red flags will help protect you from many possible complications of untreated hearing loss—a list that includes anxiety, stress, fatigue, depression, isolation, social withdrawal, dementia, diabetes, kidney disease and an increased risk of falling.

Look out for the following signs of hearing loss:

  • You frequently ask others to repeat themselves or say “huh?” a lot. It’s normal to miss a word of conversation here and there, but when it happens repeatedly, there’s probably more going on here. Unless everybody else has taken to mumbling—not a likely scenario—you may be experiencing early signs of hearing loss. If you think you can fool everybody by nodding your head and saying “yes” to something you haven’t  understood, you’re setting yourself up for embarrassment.
  • Family members are always asking you to turn down the volume on the TV. Look, we all agree that “The Golden Girls” is a great sitcom, but when Dorothy and Blanche are waxing over cheesecake so loudly it causes others in your household pain, your hearing is likely in decline.
  • You have trouble hearing women’s and children’s voices. We’re not talking about the type of “selective hearing” that occurs when your wife asks you to clean out the garage for the tenth time, but you’d rather watch football. High-pitched frequencies are usually the first to be affected, so if you find women and children harder to understand, you may be experiencing the beginning stages of hearing impairment.
  • You find it hard to communicate over noisy backgrounds. Bars and restaurants tend to be noisy, but if you find yourself struggling to hear throughout the entire meal, it’s possible your hearing may be going. If you find yourself struggling to hear throughout the entire meal and Barry Manilow is playing in the background, the odds that you’re experiencing hearing loss are even higher. Plus, you might want to rethink your dining choices.
  • You experience a ringing in your ears. Unless you’re standing next to a telephone, you shouldn’t notice a ringing in your ears. If you do, it’s likely tinnitus—an early sign of hearing loss. You might experience a roaring, whooshing, hissing, clicking, whistling or chirping sound instead. These are also signs that your hearing may be fading.
  • You find yourself avoiding social situations. We all have that one friend we dread getting an invite from, but if you find yourself declining to RSVP people you enjoy hanging out with, you might be avoiding the strain and fatigue caused by a constant struggle to hear.

If any of these signs apply to you, schedule an appointment for a hearing evaluation with a Burbank audiologist ASAP. The sooner hearing loss is treated, the less likely you are to experience long-term complications.