It’s not like you simply wake up one day, and suddenly can’t hear. For most individuals, hearing loss comes in degrees, especially when it is associated with the aging process. Some indicators show up earlier, though, and you don’t detect there is an issue immediately.
The early symptoms of progressive hearing loss are discrete. Slowing down the progression of hearing loss and its related health challenges is a matter of early detection. But if you don’t know what the early symptoms are, you won’t be able to recognize if you have them. You may be developing hearing loss if you notice any of the following eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. You hear some people just fine but not others
Maybe when you speak with your brother, you can hear him fine, but when your wife speaks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a common indication that the nerves that send messages to the brain are damaged (known as sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You may have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even higher pitched tones such as the phone ringing or alarm clock can get lost. Those are also high pitched tones.
2. You avoid phone conversations
It’s easy to make excuses for why you don’t answer the phone when it rings:
- I’m just not used to this new phone yet
- I get tons of spam calls – that’s most likely what it is
Consider why you dread using your phone. 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 can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are probably the problem.
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 used to. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first indications that your hearing is changing.
4. You’re saying “what?” a lot
You may not even realize that you’re unable to hear conversations anymore until someone points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Frequently, the first people to detect that you’re developing hearing loss are the people you see every day, like family and coworkers. If someone 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, known as tinnitus.
Triggers are a substantial factor in tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. Perhaps, when you first get up in the morning is when you have the most noticeable ringing or buzzing. Or, it could also be an indication of high blood pressure, circulatory problems, or trauma.
If you’re noticing these symptoms you should schedule an appointment for an exam because they may be an indication that you’re having a health issue.
6. Joining your friends at the neighborhood BBQ isn’t as fun
Once again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. It’s so much more difficult to make out what people are saying in loud settings. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re in the presence of something as simple as the AC turning on or youngsters splashing and playing in the pool. And, you always feel fatigued from trying to focus in on conversations.
7. You feel more fatigued than normal
Struggling to understand words is exhausting. You feel more tired than normal because your brain has to work harder to try and process what it’s attempting to hear. Your other senses may even begin to change. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye test was good, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.
8. Why can’t I hear this TV?
When you have to constantly turn the volume up on your TV, it becomes all too easy to blame your service provider or that out-dated TV. When you have hearing loss it’s hard to hear dialog on your favorite shows. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialogue, for example. What about the other things in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing could be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
The good news is, all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing test and if you find out your hearing is failing, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.
Give us a call today to make an appointment for a hearing test if you’ve detected any of the above signs.