Your hearing won’t be simply gone one day when you wake up. Hearing loss, particularly when it’s associated with aging, usually progresses in degrees. Some signs appear earlier, though, and you don’t detect there is a problem right away.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Identifying them sooner is essential to slow down the progression of hearing loss or other health problems related to aging. But if you are unaware of what the early symptoms are, you won’t be able to recognize if you have them. Contemplate these eight barely detectable indicators that you may have hearing loss.
1. Certain voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
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 sign that the nerves that transmit signals to the brain are damaged (called sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is less clear to you because the pitch is higher. You might have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can become a problem. Those tones are high, as well.
2. You avoid phone conversations
When the phone rings you are inclined to make excuses for not picking it up:
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet
- It’s most likely just spam
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 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 does everyone mumble these days?
It used to be just the kids, but lately, the lady on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your spouse all seem like they’re mumbling when they speak with you. It’s difficult to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has bad 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 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 may not be until someone points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you recognize you are developing hearing loss. Very often the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice that you’re having a hard time hearing. If somebody comments on it, you should pay attention.
5. What’s that ringing in my ears?
This sign is a bit more obvious, but unless it becomes a disruption, people tend to ignore it. A prevalent sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, medically called tinnitus.
Triggers are a significant factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. For instance, perhaps the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only manifests in the morning or when you are tired. Or a trauma, circulatory problems, or high blood pressure may be the cause.
It’s essential that you don’t ignore these tinnitus symptoms because it’s a sign that something may be wrong, so you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible to get checked out.
6. Meeting your friends at the neighborhood BBQ isn’t as fun
Again, there are those people mumbling, and that’s not fun. Also, being in loud settings makes understanding what people say that much harder. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re around something as basic as the AC turning on or kids splashing and playing in the pool. And attempting to keep up with conversations is exhausting.
7. You’re normally not this worn out
It’s laborious 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. You may even experience differences in your other senses. How much energy is left over for eyesight, for example, if your brain is spending so much of its energy trying to hear and understand words? If your eyes have tested fine, now it’s time to get your ears checked.
8. Why can’t I hear this TV?
When you have to keep turning the volume up on your TV, 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’re dealing with hearing loss. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialogue, for example. There are other things like the room AC or ceiling fan to cope with. If you keep turning up the volume, then your hearing might be failing.
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 make an appointment.