First of all – your audiochart will show that you cannot hear sounds with less than 90 dB in most of the range of where the human voices has their frequencies.
My hearing is almost all below 95 dB. On both ears. The range frequency is from 125 Hz (deep bass) to 8000 Hz (high pitch).
The biggest and most difficult symptom to become aware of, if your hearing slowly degrades like mine, would be the fatigue. I for my part couldn’t understand why I kept becoming so tired. It took many years to understand.
I did everything I could to improve my health over the years. Changed my diet. Exercise (which I have done on and off for more than a decade now, fortunately). Minimized intake of alcohol. Focused on sleep hygiene. The list can go on….
And still I was dead tired… I pushed myself harder, thinking this will pass. Eventually the pushing of myself became a habit, and all of a sudden I had erased my own limits of when to step back and take a breather. This led to a collapse, mentally.
The mental signs would be, of course, the tiredness, followed and accompanied by loss of cognitive skills (I use Su Doku to check my brain to see if I’m able to work them out). One might also try to read a book. If you’re not able to keep the eyes focused and conentrate on the content of what is being read, well, maybe time to relax?… Short term memory becomes worse. (I have learned to cope with it by using strategies like making people send me SMS or e-mails, writing down lists and using a my PIM a LOT!!!)
(A PIM is an akronym for PersonalInformationManager. My PIM is my mobile, I enter all my appointments, names of people I’ve met, numbers, adresses etc. Also my computer is a great tool when also syncronized with my PIM)
Further on with mental symptoms following the fatigue caused by overcompensating for lack of hearing:
Sleep-disturbances has been a big issue for me. A psychologist helped me through that…
Stress-tolerance declines and declines until something is done. This is just like a “burn-out” we hear about when people has been working too hard for too long. With low stress-tolerance, even a trip in the car becomes a huge straining factor. Only to commute to and from work can be so tiring because of the stress that it wears one down even further and harder….
I for my part was also prone to invent strange thoughts about other people. Suspiciousness, mild paranoia, anger towards people I love etc etc. There are many things that can relate to this, and the cause isn’t solely related to the hearing alone. But it has some bearing obviously.
Because the hearing declines, one also becomes more of an outcast in social situations. Being in a place with a lot of people, and almost never understand what everyone is laughing about can be hard to cope with. And when that happens over and over again, it is easy to fall for the temptation of faking that you understand. It’s part of social interaction. It’s normal to want to be part of the group and wnat to interact…
Last but not least (for the time being) is frequent headaches. They’re secondary symptoms to stress and fatigue. Headaches can also be caused by tensions in the body, also muscular and skeletal pains has become big issues concering my health recently.
I write a lot here… I think I have more in store about this, but for now, this is enough, since I’m tired…. (of course 😉 )