Your hearing won’t be just gone one day when you wake up. Hearing loss, particularly when it’s associated with aging, typically advances in degrees. Some signs appear earlier, though, and you don’t recognize there is an issue immediately.
The early symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Identifying them sooner is crucial to delay the development of hearing loss or other health issues associated with aging. However, you can’t detect the signs if you don’t know what they are. Consider these eight barely noticeable indicators that you may have hearing loss.
1. Some voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Maybe you can understand the cashier perfectly, but when your wife chimes in on the conversation, everything gets messed up. It’s a common sign that the nerves that transmit signals to the brain are damaged (called sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is not as clear to you because it’s higher in pitch. You may have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can become a problem. Those are also high pitched tones.
2. You avoid phone conversations
When the phone rings you are inclined to make excuses for not answering:
- I’m simply not used to this brand new phone yet
- I get tons of spam calls – that’s probably what it is
Contemplate why you dislike talking on your phone. It will be a good idea to get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is at max and you still aren’t able to hear what the other person is saying. If they are able to hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are likely the problem.
3. Why does everyone mumble these days?
It seems like it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they speak, it’s your neighbor, the news lady, your spouse, and even your bartender. It’s hard to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation so this is a good indication of hearing loss. How you hear words is changing. Mumbling or lost consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is changing.
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. Often, the first people to notice you are developing hearing loss are the people you see every day, like family and coworkers. You should definitely pay attention if somebody says something.
5. Why do I hear ringing noises in my ears?
This sign is somewhat more obvious, but unless it becomes a disruption, people tend to disregard it. A prevalent sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.
Tinnitus can also be intermittent because triggers are a significant factor. Maybe, when you first get up in the morning is when you have the most noticeable ringing or buzzing. Or, it could also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory issues, or trauma.
It’s important that you don’t ignore these tinnitus symptoms because it’s an indication that something could be wrong, so you should make an appointment as soon as possible to get checked out.
6. It isn’t as fun going to the neighborhood block party
Again, there are those people mumbling, and that’s not fun. Also, being in loud settings makes understanding what individuals say that much harder. Something as simple as kids playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC kicking on you makes it impossible to hear anything. And, you always feel exhausted from trying to keep up with conversations.
7. You feel more worn out than normal
Struggling to understand words is exhausting. You feel more tired than usual because your brain has to work overtime to try and process what it’s trying to hear. You may even notice changes in your other senses. 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 eyes have tested fine, now it’s time to get your ears assessed.
8. Why can’t I hear this TV?
It is easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you have to keep cranking up the volume. When you have hearing loss it’s difficult to follow along with dialog on your favorite shows. Dialogue is being muddled by background music and sound effects. There are other things such as the room AC or ceiling fan to deal with. Your hearing could be failing if you constantly turn up the volume.
The good news is, all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing test and if it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.
Give us a call today to make an appointment for a hearing assessment if you’ve detected any of the above signs.