It isn’t like you just wake up one day, and suddenly can’t hear. For most people, hearing loss happens in degrees, particularly when it is related to aging. Some signs show up earlier, though, and you don’t recognize there is an issue right away.
The early symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Delaying the progression of hearing loss and its associated health challenges is a matter of early detection. However, you can’t recognize the signs if you have no clue what they are. You may be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely detectable indicators.
1. You hear some people perfectly fine but not others
Maybe when you talk with your brother, you can understand him fine, but when your wife talks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a common indication of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice is higher in pitch, and that’s why it’s unclear. You might have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. Even higher pitched tones like the phone ringing or alarm clock can get lost. Those are also high pitched tones.
2. You avoid phone conversations
It’s easy to make excuses for why you don’t pick up the phone when it rings:
- I get a lot of spam calls – that’s probably what it is
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet
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 probably have a hearing loss issue if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why is everyone mumbling?
It seems like it’s no longer only the kids who are mumbling when they talk, it’s your neighbor, the news woman, your spouse, and even your bartender. It’s hard to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation so this is a strong indication of hearing loss. How you hear words is changing. Mumbling or lost consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is going through changes.
4. You’re saying “what?” a lot
You may not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations anymore until somebody points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Frequently, the first people to detect that you’re developing hearing loss are the people you see on a daily basis, like family and coworkers. If someone comments on it, you should pay attention.
5. What’s that ringing in my ears?
This sign is somewhat more obvious, but unless it becomes a disruption, people tend to ignore it. A common sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, medically called tinnitus.
Tinnitus can also be periodic because triggers are a significant factor. Maybe, when you first wake up in the morning is when you have the most pronounced ringing or buzzing. Or a trauma, circulatory problems, or high blood pressure could be the cause.
It’s crucial that you don’t disregard these tinnitus symptoms because it’s a sign that something could be wrong, so you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible to get checked out.
6. Joining your friends at the neighborhood BBQ isn’t as fun
Once again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. It’s so much harder to make out what people are saying in loud settings. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re in the presence of something as simple as the AC kicking in or youngsters splashing and playing around the pool. And, you always feel exhausted from trying to keep up with conversations.
7. You’re usually not this exhausted
It’s exhausting when you struggle to understand words. You feel more fatigued than normal because your brain needs to work overtime to try and process what it’s attempting to hear. Your other senses might even start to change. How much energy is left for eyesight, for instance, if your brain is using so much of its energy trying to hear and understand words? If your last eye test was good, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
It is easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you need to keep cranking the volume up. When you have hearing loss it’s difficult to hear dialog on your favorite shows. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialogue, for example. How about the other things in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing may be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
Fortunately, all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing test and if you find out your hearing is failing, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.
If you notice any of the above signs of hearing loss, give us a call today to make an appointment.