Hearing Health Blog

Man with hearing loss trying to hear at the dinner table with his family.

Your last family get together was frustrating. It wasn’t because your family was having a difficult time getting along. No, the source of the difficulty was simple: it was noisy, and you couldn’t hear a thing. So you weren’t able to have very much enjoyable conversation with any members of your family. The whole experience was incredibly aggravating. Mostly, you blame the acoustics. But you can’t completely dismiss the possibility that perhaps your hearing is beginning to go bad.

It isn’t generally recommended to attempt to self diagnose hearing loss because it usually isn’t possible. But there are some early warning signs you should keep your eye on. When enough of these red flags surface, it’s worth scheduling an appointment to get tested by a hearing professional.

Early Signs of Hearing Loss

Not every sign and symptom of hearing loss is evident. But if you should find your own experiences reflected in any of the items on the following list, you just might be dealing with some degree of hearing loss.

Here are some of the warning signs of hearing loss:

  • You have a difficult time hearing interactions in a crowded or noisy place. In the “family dinner” example above, this exact thing happened and it’s definitely an early warning sign.
  • High pitched sounds are difficult to hear. Things like a whistling teapot or ringing doorbell frequently go unnoticed for several minutes or more. Early hearing loss is normally most noticeable in specific (and frequently high-pitched) frequencies of sound.
  • You notice it’s tough to comprehend certain words. When consonants become hard to differentiate this red flag should go up. Usually, it’s the sh- and th- sounds that are muffled. It can also often be the p- and t- sounds or the s- and f- sounds
  • Phone calls suddenly seem muffled and hard to understand: People do a lot of texting nowadays, so you might not take as many phone calls as you once did. But if you have the volume turned all the way up on your phone and you’re still having trouble hearing calls, it’s most likely an early warning of hearing loss.
  • You notice some ringing in your ears: This ringing, which can also be the sound of screeching, thumping, buzzing, or other noises, is technically named tinnitus. Tinnitus isn’t necessarily connected with hearing issues, but it is often an early warning sign of hearing loss, so a hearing test is most likely in order.
  • Certain sounds seem so loud that they’re unbearable. It’s one of the more unusual early warning signs related to loss of hearing, but hyperacusis is common enough that you might find yourself experiencing its symptoms. It can be an early sign of hearing loss if certain sounds seem really loud especially if it lasts for an extended period of time.
  • You keep needing people to repeat what they said. This is especially true if you’re asking multiple people to slow down, repeat what they said, or talk louder. You may not even realize you’re making such frequent requests, but it can definitely be an early sign of diminishing hearing.
  • Someone makes you aware that you keep turning up the volume on your media. Perhaps you keep turning up the volume on your mobile device. Possibly it’s your TV that’s at max volume. Typically, it’s a friend, neighbor, or a member of your family that makes you aware of the increasing volumes.
  • It’s Time to Get a Hearing Examination

    You still can’t be certain whether you’re dealing with hearing loss even if you are experiencing some of these early warning signs. You will need to get a hearing examination to know for sure.

    Generally speaking, any single one of these early warning signs could be an indication that you’re developing some kind of hearing loss. A hearing assessment will be able to tell what level of impairment, if any, is present. Then it will become more clear what needs to be done about it.

    This will make your next family get together a lot easier and more fun.

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    The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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