One can be born with a hearing problem. It is also possible that the hearing problem comes up later in life. The most tragic thing is that most people who are hard of hearing are not aware that they have a problem.
The problem could be impartial, though in some cases, it is a total inability to detect speech frequencies in a sound.
There are terms that are generally confused here. One is that of being totally deaf, meaning that they can hardly hear any sound. The other is hearing impairment.
“If you are hard of hearing, then we say that you are impaired; you have a hearing problem.”
Sometimes, though, these signs may emerge without warning. Either way, it is important to know and identify the signs of hearing loss.
The Early Signs Of Hearing Loss
1. Difficulty in hearing other people speak
Have you ever been in a situation where you are straining to hear what other people are saying? If yes, you could be hard of hearing and it is evident that you have a hearing problem.
“This is commonly noted in a group discussion.”
2. You keep requesting others to repeat themselves
If you make this request yourself a couple of times, you should have yourself checked for a hearing problem.
Most of the time, the reason you are asking them to repeat themselves is that you missed out on what was earlier uttered.
3. Tuning on the higher volume of television or radio
How many times have you scrawny faces of members of your family as they lower the volume of the T.V. or radio?
They could be shaking their heads as they do so, wondering just how you could bear the blaring music in the room. You sit down to catch your breath, wondering what the fuss is all about.
It is possible that you have signs of hearing loss which makes you ‘tolerant’ to higher decibels than normal.
4. Failing to hear the telephone ring
For some people, the phone could go on ringing without you hearing it ring at all. Sometimes you cannot help it: it is just that it is inaudible to you, a clear manifestation that you are hard of hearing.
5. Missing the doorbell ring even in total silence
Someone could be at the door, ringing the doorbell but you fail to completely hear it ring.
If there is no other sound distraction like loud music in the house or people talking loudly, then you have no reason not to hear it.
In fact, this simply tells that you are sound impaired.
6. The speech and other sounds are muffled
Do you often find that the sound of speech from other people appear too low for you to hear anything?
This muffling of the sound or speech clearly shows that you have an early hearing problem typical of ‘swallowed words’. You try to even to enunciate your words or dictate them but still the muffling is there.
To understand this term better, imagine how you strain to hear what a 2-year old is saying. It is the same thing you hear in others.
7. Not being able to understand words
If you find it difficult to understand words in a crowded place or there is some background noise, then you can correctly be diagnosed as suffering from some form of hearing impairment.
You try to even enunciate your words.
8. Inability to hear consonants
If you find yourself making several consonant errors, then you clearly have a hearing problem. Apart from not getting any of the unvoiced consonants, you will find the same people not making out anything from this.
This is commonly experienced in high pitched frequencies.
9. Asking others to speak more slowly
One way to tell that the loss of hearing is significant is when you realize that you find others speaking too fast. The words come out faster than you can decipher meaning even in an audibly normal conversation.
You will thus find yourself requesting them to slow down their speech quite frequently.
10. Words are not clear or loud enough
The words from other people appear to be not clearly loud for you to hear. As such, you will find yourself asking them to pronounce words more clearly, more like the enunciation we referred to earlier.
This happens even when the person talking to you is in close contact with you.
From the above, it is telling that this problem could be manifested in many ways. One is advised to have a hearing test carried out to help determine the extent of the loss.
Meanwhile, the problem could be minimized by avoiding prolonged exposure to higher noise levels.
An audiogram and a text of infographics could also be used to determine the problem causing the impairment and find a solution.