Your hearing won’t be simply gone one day when you wake up. For most individuals, hearing loss progresses in degrees, especially when it is associated with aging. Some signs appear earlier, though, and you don’t recognize there is a problem right away.
These initially developing symptoms progress very subtly. Delaying the development of hearing loss and its associated health challenges is a matter of early detection. But if you are unaware of what the early symptoms are, you won’t be able to recognize if you have them. You might be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. You hear some people just fine but not others
Maybe when you talk with your brother, you can hear him fine, but when your wife talks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a typical sign of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that distribute electrical signals to the brain.
Her voice is less clear to you because the pitch is higher. You may not be able to hear your daughter or grandchild very well for the same reason. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those are also high pitched tones.
2. You don’t like to talk on the phone
It’s easy to make excuses for why you don’t answer the phone when it rings:
- It’s probably just spam
- I’m just not used to this new phone yet
Contemplate why you dread using your phone. It will be a useful idea to get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still can’t hear what the other person is saying. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are likely the problem.
3. Why does everyone mumble these days?
It used to be just the kids, but lately, the woman on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your spouse all seem like they are mumbling when they talk to you. It’s difficult to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation so this is a strong indication of hearing loss. You’re not hearing words the same as you once did. 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 dropping off.
4. You’re saying “what?” a lot
It might not be until someone points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you realize you are developing hearing loss. Frequently, the first people to notice you are 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?
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle indication, but it is something people tend to dismiss unless it’s disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a common symptom of hearing loss.
Tinnitus can also be intermittent because triggers are a significant factor. For example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only occurs in the morning or when you are tired. Or a trauma, circulatory problems, or high blood pressure might be the cause.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms you should schedule an appointment for an exam because they might be an indication that you’re having a health problem.
6. It isn’t as enjoyable attending the neighborhood block party
Again, there are those people mumbling, and that’s not fun. It’s so much more difficult to understand what people are saying in noisy places. Something as simple as children playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC coming on you makes it impossible to hear anything. And trying to keep up with conversations is tedious.
7. You’re normally not this worn out
It’s laborious when you struggle to understand words. You feel more tired than normal because your brain needs to work harder to try and process what it’s trying to hear. Your other senses might even start to change. How much energy is left over for eyesight, for instance, if your brain is using so much of its energy trying to hear and understand words? If your eyes have tested fine, now it’s time to get your hearing checked.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
It’s easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you have to keep cranking the volume up. When you have hearing loss it’s hard to follow along with dialog on your favorite shows. Dialogue is being muddled by background music and sound effects. What about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing might be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
Luckily, if your hearing is failing, hearing aids can help, you just need to have your hearing tested.
If you experience any of the above signs of hearing loss, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.