Hearing loss is caused by a variety of factors. Some are blatant, and others are subtle. Aging, exposure to loud noises and other factors contribute to hearing loss, and even genetics may play an integral role in auditory degradation. If you’re wondering about your ear health, be sure to check for the following symptoms of hearing loss:

You Ask Others to Repeat Themselves Frequently

Of course, asking for repeated sentences, phrases and technical information shouldn’t cause concern. But, if you frequently need repeated sentences for clarity, a hearing check-up is advised. Needing repeated words is a primary hearing loss symptom, and reading lips should never be a substitute for medical inquiry.

You’re Missing Phone Calls and Door Knocks

Hearing loss begins with acute isolation, and small noises may go first. If you’re having difficulty noticing the phone, the doorbell, knocks and small noises, your hearing may be in trouble. While the phone can be set on vibrate, and, while visitors can be encouraged to “just come in”, lapses in hearing shouldn’t control your day-to-day visits.

You’re Talking Louder

Everyone has different temperaments, but if your friends and family are saying, “You’re talking louder than normal,” you may need a hearing exam. When people suffer hearing loss, they instinctively talk louder to accommodate for their lost head voice. In short: If you can’t hear yourself talk, you may accidentally be talking louder to compensate.

You Have Difficulty Hearing Women and Children

Women and children speak in higher tones, and these tones are often lost first when one’s hearing degrades. Again, hearing loss begins with higher frequencies. If your age is causing hearing problems, hearing high-toned voices may become an issue. You’re likely to hear deep, booming voices, however, and this may increase considerations of healthy hearing. Don’t mistake this for precise hearing, as healthy hearing expands to all vocal ranges—not just lower frequencies.

You Have Pain, Itching or Irritation

Hearing loss isn’t exclusive to age. Sometimes, inner ear infections and damage can directly cause hearing issues. If you’re experiencing pain, itching or other irritations, contact a medical provider immediately. Similarly, if you’re experiencing tinnitus—a ringing in the ears—you may have ear damage. Injuries and infections are serious, and medical intervention is always urged in such cases.

You’re having Trouble Hearing Specific Words

In the same way all voices have pitches, certain words may be lower-pitched than others. In-between articles, like an, but, nor, for, it and others may slip beneath your hearing range. Similarly, raised questions, and otherwise higher-pitched words, may elude your hearing if it’s impaired. If you’re needing vocal reassurance, and if you’re only hearing parts of sentences, your hearing may be at risk.

You’re Having Trouble Hearing in Loud Environments

Sensory overload aside, damaged hearing faces great difficulty in noisy environments. Loud noises can drown out subtle tones, and background noise may sweep away important words if your hearing is damaged. If ambient noise reduces your hearing ability, you may be having difficulty picking up smaller noises, and you may need a hearing examination.

Your hearing experience is incredibly important. Unfortunately, many individuals ignore subtle cues indicating hearing loss. In most cases, the best solution for hearing loss is prevention. If you’re experiencing one or more hearing loss symptoms, contact us today for testing, preventative methods and more information.