Houston, TX | TOPs Hearing & Balance Center

Better Living Through
Better Hearing

Do You Need a Hearing Test?

Ear Exam

For the majority of people, hearing loss tends to develop gradually - and often, so incrementally that it can be difficult to even realize it is occurring. When hearing capabilities begin to worsen, the brain adapts and compensates. While this is impressive in many ways, it can be problematic, as it results in an individual simply not being aware of the fact that they may be experiencing hearing loss.

There are, however, ways and means of identifying potential hearing loss, and we have outlined the most common symptoms below.

Headaches

If you are experiencing untreated hearing loss, then your brain will have to “work” harder to process the world around you - which can result in a higher volume of headaches.

Fatigue

For the same reason as above, fatigue is common amongst those experiencing hearing loss. You may find that you tire more easily when you have been socializing in particular, though a general sense of overall tiredness is also common.

Turning the volume up

If you regularly find you have to increase the volume when watching TV or listening to music, then this could be a sign of hearing loss. In particular, be cautious about needing to listen at a volume higher than is recommended. Many devices will display volume warnings after a certain level, so if you need to go beyond this warning to hear comfortably, then a hearing test is worthwhile.

Experiencing more trips and falls

While trips and falls can occur for no underlying reason at all, an increase in the number of accidents you experience could be worthy of note. Numerous studies have shown that people experiencing untreated hearing loss are at a greater risk of more trips and falls due to a lower awareness of their environment.

Symptoms you may notice in social settings

If you are experiencing hearing loss, then you may find it more challenging to follow the flow of a conversation - especially conversations involving multiple people. While you may be able to hear the individual words, and entire sentences, piecing them together can become more difficult. As a consequence of this, you may find yourself having to ask people to repeat themselves more frequently, or feeling that you cannot participate as fully in the conversation as you would like to.

Asking people to repeat themselves

If you frequently find that you have to ask people to repeat something they have just said - even if it is an isolated comment, rather than something said in the middle of a conversation - then this can also be a sign of hearing loss. In particular, if you feel you frequently have to ask someone to change the way they say something - for example, increasing the volume of their voice or enunciating more clearly - this is worthy of further investigation.

Changes to the way you hear speech

It is often presumed that hearing loss is merely a reduction in the volume an individual can hear, but this is rarely the case. Hearing loss, for example, can cause sounds to muffle; you can still hear that someone is speaking, but the clarity is lost. In addition, you may also find that you find it more challenging to hear consonants; for example, you may hear someone say “hanks” rather than “thanks.”

Tinnitus (“ringing in the ears”)

If you hear sounds that have no physical basis, you may be experiencing a condition known as tinnitus. Although tinnitus and hearing loss are separate conditions, they are strongly related. As a result, if you develop tinnitus, undergoing a hearing test is highly recommended.

What should you do next if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms?

If any of the symptoms we have discussed sound familiar, then by far the best course of action is to arrange an appointment with an audiologist. An audiologist can administer several hearing tests and, if necessary, help to treat any hearing loss that you may be experiencing.

If you regularly have your hearing screened as part of your routine health maintenance, it is important to note that you can also schedule a hearing test whenever you feel necessary. If you opt for annual testing, but you begin to notice the symptoms above six months after your last check, it is still very much worth arranging another test as soon as possible - even if this would technically be classed as “early." When it comes to hearing loss, it is always preferable to err on the side of caution.

Find out more today

To find out more about Tops Hearing & Balance Center, call (281) 920-3911 at your earliest convenience.


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