It isn’t like you simply wake up one day, and suddenly can’t hear. For most people, hearing loss happens in degrees, particularly when it is related to aging. You may not recognize it’s happening immediately but some signs do appear earlier.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Slowing down the development of hearing loss and its associated health problems is a matter of early detection. However, you can’t detect the signs if you have no clue what they are. Consider these eight barely detectable indicators that you might have hearing loss.
1. Certain voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Maybe when you talk to your brother, you can understand him fine, but when your wife talks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a typical indication that the nerves that send signals to the brain are damaged (known as sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it’s unclear. You may not be capable of hearing your daughter or grandchild very well for the same reason. Even higher pitched tones like the phone ringing or alarm clock can get lost. Those tones are high, also.
2. You don’t like to talk on the phone
When the phone rings you are inclined to make excuses for not picking it up:
- I’m just not used to this brand new phone yet
- I get a lot of spam calls – that’s most likely what it is
You hate talking on the phone, but why? If you have the volume at max and can’t hear what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. You most likely have a hearing loss issue if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why does everyone mumble these days?
It seems like it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they speak, it’s your neighbor, the news woman, your partner, and even your bartender. If it seems as if everyone in your life is mumbling, you’re most likely dealing with hearing loss, because what is the likelihood of that? You’re not hearing words the same as you used to. One of the first signs that something is going on with your hearing is when it sounds like people are mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” are getting lost.
4. You’re saying “what?” a lot
You may not even realize that you can’t hear conversations anymore until somebody points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Very often the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice you are struggling to hear. You should definitely pay attention if somebody says something.
5. Why do I hear ringing noises in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but it is something individuals tend to ignore unless it’s disruptive. A prevalent sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.
Tinnitus can also be periodic because triggers are a significant factor. Maybe, when you first get up in the morning is when you have the most noticeable ringing or buzzing. Or, it could also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems, or trauma.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms you should schedule an appointment for an exam because they may be a sign that you’re having a health problem.
6. It’s not as fun going to the neighborhood get-together
Again, there are those people mumbling, and that’s not fun. It’s so much harder to understand what people are saying in noisy settings. It becomes impossible for you to hear anything when you’re around something as basic as the AC turning on or children splashing and playing in the pool. And, you always feel fatigued from trying to keep up with conversations.
7. You feel more worn out than normal
It’s laborious when you struggle to understand words. Your brain needs to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. Your other senses may even begin to change. If your brain is using 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your eyes have tested fine, now it’s time to have your hearing assessed.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
When you have to keep turning the volume on your TV up, it becomes all too easy to place the blame on your service provider or that old TV. When you have hearing loss it’s hard to follow along with dialog on your favorite shows. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialogue, for example. There are other things like the room AC or ceiling fan to deal with. Your hearing may be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
Fortunately, all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing assessment and if it turns out your hearing is failing, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.
Call us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing test if you’ve detected any of the above signs.