Hearing loss develops gradually, so, unfortunately, early symptoms can go unnoticed until the loss is moderate or severe. One in eight adults in the US experiences hearing loss and the symptoms vary depending on its severity.
In addition, ear infections are common health problems, and they can lead to various other health issues, including meningitis or brain abscess. If you leave them untreated, your condition can worsen, making it crucial to ensure you know the symptoms of an ear infection. Learning to identify the symptoms of hearing loss and ear infections will help you get medical attention early on. Below are four symptoms related to your hearing that you should never ignore.
Ringing in Your Ears
If you experience ringing in your ears, your nerve cells in the inner ear are probably damaged. If it happens just a few times, the damage is insignificant. But if you continue to hear the ringing still, you should schedule a hearing test in a reputable hearing aid clinic, as this is one of the first symptoms of hearing loss.
The ringing can signify numerous hearing problems, but it could mean tinnitus if it’s frequent. It’s either damage to the auditory system or a symptom of hearing loss, but we know that tinnitus and hearing loss go hand in hand. Even if ringing seems like a minor symptom, you should seek help from a professional audiologist as it can worsen if you don’t get examined.
Trouble Following Conversations
Hearing loss in the early stages doesn’t show when you’re in calm environments or during one-on-one conversations. It becomes a problem in group conversations or in the presence of background noises. And it’s frustrating to feel that you’re cut out of the talks, but this is the feeling you’ll get for sure if you start having problems with your hearing.
Also, if you notice that you have to concentrate more to hear things, it’s time to see an audiologist to get treatment as soon as possible. Additionally, you may experience difficulty hearing the conversations in movies and shows because hearing loss affects high-frequency sounds.
You Forget Things
If you experience hearing loss, your speech comprehension will suffer as you misconstrue or miss the speaker’s words. Later, of course, you’d have trouble remembering important information as your short-term memory is limited, and you can cope with a few items at a time.
In addition, hearing loss has been linked to cognitive decline. One study showed that people’s thinking skills rapidly declined if they were experiencing hearing problems. When people have untreated hearing loss, their brains divert many resources to concentrate on trying to hear. As a result, that affects the memory and ability to think fast.
Pressure on Your Ear and Drainage
Feeling pressure in the ears is quite unpleasant. The feeling is the same as when you experience an altitude change and your ears get blocked. That feeling can be a sign of an ear infection. Even a minor ear infection can cause pressure and discomfort in the ear. If the pressure turns into sharp pain, you need to see an audiologist since the blockage causing the infection can put plenty of strain on the eardrum. If you try to ignore the pain, you risk your eardrum rupturing, leading to hearing loss.
Another symptom that you need to see an audiologist is if there is fluid draining from the ear. Of course, our ears contain fluid in the form of ear wax. But, if you notice any other type of fluid coming from your ear, like a puss-fluid or clear liquid, you should be concerned. When an infection is present, the eardrum produces more fluid that will appear in your ears. If you happen to notice blood, seek medical help right away.
A fever is always concerning, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak, but it could signify many health conditions. An ear infection is one of them. So, if you have ear infection symptoms and a fever, home treatment won’t be enough. You’ll need to see a doctor because you’ll probably need an antibiotic. Antibiotics will bring the fever down and help with the infection. You may also experience flu or cold symptoms due to an ear infection.
If you think you might be experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms, don’t wait! The symptoms can vary depending on the severity and type of hearing loss or ear infection you have. So, see an audiologist who knows how to help you bring your ears back to a better condition.