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Often Overlooked Warning Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is in many ways a silent disability, one that creeps up on its victims for years or even decades, slowly robbing them of one of their most important senses. Unlike other sensory deficiencies, which can come on fast and make their presence known, hearing loss often progresses slowly, remaining undetectable until serious damage has already been done.
This slow progress and gradual deterioration of hearing is one reason everyone, from family members and coworkers to the individuals themselves, need to remain vigilant. The early signs of hearing loss go beyond asking people to repeat themselves and turning the TV up to earsplitting decibel levels. Here are some hearing loss symptoms that often go unnoticed.
Performance Problems on the Job
If your performance at work has taken a hit, hearing loss may not be the first thing that comes to mind. You may blame these issues on other factors, from an overbearing and micromanaging boss to a new slate of incompetent coworkers.
All of these factors may be in play, but your sudden drop in workplace performance could also be the result of subtle changes in your hearing. Maybe your inability to meet a tight deadline stems not from inattention but the fact your failing ears did not register that the deadline had changed.
Close Calls on the Road
From texting drivers to the drowsy effects of prescription medication literally putting motorists to sleep, there are many dangers on the open road. But if you have been experiencing more close calls and beeping horns than usual, the early effects of hearing loss could be to blame.
Many drivers do not realise just how heavily they rely on their ears to navigate the highways, back roads and parking lots safely, but a loss of hearing can have a profound impact on their ability to operate a motor vehicle. Even if you think your driving, and your hearing, are fine, having your auditory acumen tested could still be a good idea.
Loud Noises No Longer Bother You
If you used to complain about the neighbours setting off fireworks at all hours but now all is quiet, the cause may not be as benign as you think. It could be the neighbours have suddenly discovered the etiquette of suburban living, but it is more likely you are no longer hearing those booms and bangs.
A sudden descent of quiet on your neighbourhood and your life may seem like a good thing, but it could actually be an early sign of hearing loss. At the very least, this potential warning sign merits a formal hearing test by your doctor.
In the vast majority of cases, hearing loss is totally painless; that is what makes it so insidious and difficult to detect. Even so, some medical conditions that lead to hearing loss can also cause ear pain, and any such discomfort should be cause for concern.
If you experience ear pain, you should let your doctor know right away. It could turn out to be nothing, but you can never be too careful where your hearing is concerned.
Frequent Ear Infections
Anything that affects your ears can impact your hearing, and frequent ear infections can be an early warning sign of hearing loss. And while an occasional infection is usually no big deal, repeated problems should be brought to your doctor’s attention.
Even if your doctor thinks your recent ear infection is no big deal, it never hurts to ask for a hearing test. If you pass with flying colours, you can rest easy knowing you have nothing to worry about. If not, you can seek treatment to prevent further deterioration in your hearing.
Hearing loss is not all about turning up the TV and missing parts of conversations. If you experience any of the more obscure warning signs listed above, call your audiologist and schedule a hearing test today.
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