That's approximately one in four people. What's more, a substantial percentage of those cases are entirely preventable. 

It's all about early intervention. About recognizing the symptoms of potential hearing impairment and receiving treatment as soon as possible. Unfortunately, that's often easier said than done. 

People with a developing hearing impairment often might not even realize it until their condition has significantly progressed. The good news is that there are always indicators if you know what to look for. With that in mind, here are a few signs you might be losing your hearing without realizing it. 

People Are Complaining About Noise

Your family's started complaining about the volume of your TV, but it sounds acceptable to you. A friend tells you that you talk too loud. You get looks when you're out in public due to the volume of your music. 

While it's certainly true that some people just like it loud if the people in your life have started to take notice of or comment on your volume, it might be worth getting a hearing test. 

You're Having Trouble Keeping Up With Conversations

Talking on the phone is a nightmare, never mind Zoom. When more than one person is talking, you quickly get lost in the conversation. You're constantly asking people to repeat themselves, especially in louder environments — too much noise makes it impossible to focus on anyone's voice. 

Difficulty keeping up with conversation is often one of the first signs that you're dealing with undiagnosed hearing loss.

People With High-Pitched Voices Sound Weirdly Muffled

With age and noise-related hearing loss, higher frequencies are often the first to go. As a result, while you may not have any issue listening to people with deep voices, you may find it increasingly difficult to understand what women or children are saying. You may also find yourself having trouble hearing higher-pitched notes in songs you used to listen to all the time. 

You've Suddenly Developed Tinnitus (Or Another Ear Condition)

While tinnitus can be a precursor for many ear conditions (or a condition in and of itself), it often accompanies hearing impairment of some caliber. For that reason, if you start hearing an annoying, high-pitched ringing in your ears, it's a good idea to talk to an audiologist. At the very least, they might be able to recommend a few treatments to deal with the annoying sound. 

The Best Way to Know for Sure is With a Hearing Test

Hearing impairment isn't as obvious as Hollywood would have you believe, and the signs aren't always clear at first. That's why it's crucial to not only take steps to protect your hearing when you're younger but also to get tested regularly. That way, if anything is wrong, you'll be able to catch it sooner rather than later.