Top 10 Warning Signs of Hearing Loss

June 20, 2017 4

Can you hear me now? So many of us go through life completing our daily routines day after day, year after year. We get physicals, eye exams, mammograms, colonoscopies, etc… but what about our hearing? It’s sneaky, that hearing loss, because hearing loss happens gradually over time. So most of us don’t wake up one morning and instantly realize a dramatic hearing loss.  Instead, as hearing loss occurs over long periods of time, we begin to show signs of hearing problems. In fact, the person with the hearing loss is typically the last person to realize they have a hearing loss.

Did you know that over 36 million Americans suffer from some degree of hearing loss? More surprisingly, only about a fifth of those with hearing loss do something about it. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “Damage tends to be so gradual that you might not notice. By ages 45 to 65, about a fifth of adults have some hearing loss, as do almost half of all 75-year-olds.”

If you or a loved one experience any of the following Top 10 Warning Signs of Hearing Loss, it’s time to consider getting a complete diagnostic hearing exam.

  1. People seem to mumble. High frequency hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. This is because high-pitched sounds are typically the first to be lost. Both women and children’s voices fall into the category of high frequency sounds. As a result, women and children’s voices can be more difficult for a person with hearing loss to understand.
  2. Experience ringing in the ear(s) often. Most commonly, experiencing a ringing, buzzing, chirping or whistling in the ear(s) is known as Tinnitus. Tinnitus is typically associated to a high frequency hearing loss and impacts over 50 million Americans.
  3. Often ask people to repeat themselves. When hearing loss occurs, the connection from your ears to your brain is impacted. Over time, a severe hearing loss can make understanding even simple conversations very difficult.
  4. Your family complains of high TV and Radio volumes. Compensating for a hearing loss is natural, especially if the person with hearing loss does not realize they have a hearing loss. Volume for the TV and other devices will increase as the level of hearing loss increases.
  5. Missing household sounds, such as dripping of the faucet or ringing of the doorbell. Many hearing impaired people miss common household sounds, such as a fire alarm, home alarm, telephone and doorbell.
  6. Difficulty understanding conversations in large crowds. When hearing impaired people are in large crowds, understanding and participating in conversations can be overwhelming and difficult. It is common for hearing impaired people to withdraw from participating socially in large crowds.
  7. Trouble understanding all the words in a conversation. Speech and conversation is a highly cognitive process, which happens in the brain. Sounds around you are picked up by both ears working together to feed information to your brain. Then, your brain processes the sounds by matching them to sounds stored in your memory. Your ears also convert sounds into nerve impulses that travel to your brain, and your brain needs as much sound detail as possible in order to turn these sounds into meaning. Hearing loss impacts this process, making understanding words more difficult the worse the hearing loss gets.
  8. Using the phone gets increasingly difficult. For a hearing impaired person, lip reading can be helpful and very common in order to compensate for the loss of hearing. Over the phone, lip reading cannot be used and therefore makes a phone conversation all the more difficult to take in.
  9. Trouble hearing when your back is to the person speaking. This type of interaction is also difficult for a person with hearing loss because the comprehension of the conversation replies on hearing alone.
  10. You have been told you speak too loudly. A person with hearing loss may be having issues hearing themselves when speaking and therefore, as with the volume on the TV and other devices, a compensation occurs with their own voice. As a result, people with hearing loss do tend to project themselves with increasing volume.

If you or a loved one experience any of these warning signs of hearing loss, it’s time to consider getting a complete diagnostic hearing exam.

At Physicians Hearing Solutions, all of our hearing healthcare professionals are fully licensed and trained in providing each patient with the best hearing healthcare options available. We want you to know you can trust that you are getting the highest quality hearing healthcare each time you come to see us. Our goal is to improve your quality of life through providing you with the quality hearing healthcare you deserve. We offer complimentary complete Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations. Please don’t wait, call today, (401) 921-0181 Warwick office, (401) 435-5355 East Providence office.


  • Mina Edinburgh

    August 31, 2018 at 2:51 am

    I appreciate it when you said that the person is suffering from a hearing loss if they hear women’s and children’s voices as mumbling because the high pitched sounds are the first to be lost. No wonder my brother does not seem to be finding it hard to speak to me but no to our younger sister. This is not the first time that it happened. I will talk to him about having his ears checked.


  • Tammie Houston

    October 6, 2018 at 5:37 am

    It was really informative when you said that a sever hearing loss will affect how a person understands others and it will make conversations more difficult. If that is the case, then I need to take my grandma to the professional to see if she needs hearing aids. She’s always getting into an argument with grandpa because she can’t hear us very well and conversations are really hard. This way, we will know what’s wrong.


    • laura

      October 12, 2018 at 10:25 am

      That is a good idea! Hearing should be checked annually. It can’t hurt to get her a Hearing Test in order to figure out what kind of a loss she is living with. Then you can assess her level of hearing loss and create a hearing health plan specifically targeting her hearing needs. If you are located in Rhode Island, Massachusetts or Connecticut, we’d be very happy to assist you. Good luck!


  • Amy Winters

    November 30, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    I’m glad you pointed out that difficulty hearing over the phone is a good indicator of hearing loss, since phone conversions can’t be supplemented by lip reading like normal conversations can. I called my mother-in-law yesterday, and she seemed to be having a lot of trouble understanding me. Now that I know she could have hearing loss, I’ll encourage her to get evaluated at a hearing clinic soon.


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