It isn’t like you just wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. For most individuals, hearing loss progresses in degrees, especially when it is associated with aging. You might not recognize it’s taking place right away but some signs do appear earlier.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are discrete. Slowing down 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 may be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely detectable indicators.
1. You hear some people just fine but not others
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 common indication that the nerves that transmit messages to the brain are damaged (known as sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is not as clear to you because it’s higher in pitch. You might have the same problem 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 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 tons of spam calls – that’s probably what it is
- I’m simply not used to this brand new phone yet
Consider why you dread talking on your phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t understand what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. You most likely have a hearing loss problem if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why is everyone mumbling?
It seems as if it’s no longer only the kids who are mumbling when they talk, it’s your neighbor, the news lady, your partner, and even your bartender. If it seems like everybody in your life is mumbling, you’re probably dealing with hearing loss, because what is the likelihood of that? How you hear words is changing. One of the first indications that something is happening 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 people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to observe you are struggling to hear. You should definitely pay attention if someone says something.
5. What’s that ringing in my ears?
This sign is a bit more obvious, but unless it becomes a distraction, people tend to disregard it. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a common symptom of hearing loss.
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 significant ringing or buzzing. Or, it could also be a symptom of high blood pressure, circulatory issues, or trauma.
It’s crucial that you don’t ignore these tinnitus symptoms because it’s an indication that something might be wrong, so you should make an appointment as soon as possible to get an exam.
6. It isn’t as fun attending the neighborhood get-together
Once again, there are those people mumbling, and that’s not fun. Also, being in loud places makes understanding what people say that much harder. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re in the presence of something as basic as the AC turning on or children splashing and playing in the pool. And, you always feel fatigued from trying to focus in on conversations.
7. You feel more worn out than usual
Struggling to understand words is draining. Your brain needs to work harder to process what it can hear, so you are more fatigued than normal. Your other senses might even start to change. How much energy is left over for eyesight, for example, if your brain is using so much of its energy attempting to hear and understand words? If your last eye exam was normal, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.
8. Why can’t I hear this TV?
When you have to keep turning the volume on your TV up, it becomes all too easy to blame your service provider or that old TV. It can be hard to hear the dialogue on your favorite shows when you have hearing loss. Dialogue is being jumbled by background music and sound effects. How about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing may be failing if you constantly turn up the volume.
The good news is, all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing exam and if you find out your hearing is failing, hearing aids will help you get back to normal.
If you notice any of the above signs of hearing loss, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.