It’s not like you just wake up one day, and suddenly can’t hear. For most individuals, hearing loss happens in degrees, especially when it is related to the aging process. You may not recognize it’s occurring immediately but some signs do appear earlier.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Identifying them sooner is essential to slow down the development of hearing loss or other health issues associated with aging. However, you can’t recognize the signs if you have no clue what they are. 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
Perhaps you can understand the cashier just fine, but when your wife chimes in on the conversation, everything gets muddled. It’s a typical sign that the nerves that send messages to the brain are damaged (called sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. 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 pick up the phone when it rings:
- I get a lot of spam calls – that’s most likely what it is
- I’m simply not used to this brand new phone yet
You dread talking on the phone, but why? If you have the volume at max and can’t hear what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. If they are able to hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are probably the problem.
3. Why is everybody mumbling?
It used to be just the kids, but lately, the lady on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your partner all seem like they’re mumbling when they talk to you. It’s difficult to imagine that everybody in your life suddenly has bad enunciation so this is a good indication of hearing loss. You’re not hearing words the same as you used to. One of the first indications 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
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 detect you are developing hearing loss are the people you see every day, like family and coworkers. If somebody 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.
Triggers are an important factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. For example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired. Or, it could also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory issues, or trauma.
It’s essential 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 an exam.
6. It’s not as fun going to the neighborhood get-together
Once again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. It’s so much more difficult to understand what people are saying in noisy settings. Something as basic as youngsters playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC coming on you makes it impossible to hear anything. And attempting to focus in on conversations is tedious.
7. You’re normally not this worn out
It’s exhausting when you struggle to understand words. Your brain needs to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more fatigued than normal. 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 over for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye exam was good, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
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. It can be hard to hear the dialogue on your favorite shows when you’re dealing with hearing loss. Dialogue is being jumbled by background music and sound effects. What about the other things in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? If you keep turning the volume up, then your hearing may be failing.
The good thing is, if your hearing is failing, hearing aids can help, you just need to have your hearing tested.
Contact us today to make an appointment for a hearing assessment if you’ve experienced any of the above signs.