It isn’t like you simply wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. For most individuals, hearing loss progresses in degrees, especially when it is linked to the aging process. You may not realize it’s occurring right away but some indicators do appear earlier.
The early symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Slowing down the progression of hearing loss and its related health challenges is a matter of early detection. But if you are unaware of what the early symptoms are, you won’t be capable of recognizing if you have them. Consider these eight barely detectable indicators that you might 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 speaks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a typical indication that the nerves that transmit 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 might not be capable of hearing your daughter or grandchild very well for the same reason. 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:
- It’s a new phone, and I’m simply not used to it yet
- It’s likely just spam
Consider why you dread using your phone. It will be a useful idea to get someone else to check the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still can’t hear what the other person is saying. You probably have a hearing loss issue if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why is everybody mumbling?
It seems like it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they talk, it’s your neighbor, the news woman, your spouse, and even your bartender. It’s difficult to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has bad enunciation so this is a good indication of hearing loss. The way 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
You may not even realize that you’re unable to hear conversations anymore until somebody points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Very often the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to observe you are having a hard time hearing. If someone comments on it, you should pay attention.
5. Why do I hear ringing sounds in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle indication, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s disruptive. 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. Perhaps, when you first wake up in the morning is when you have the most pronounced ringing or buzzing. Or a trauma, circulatory problems, or high blood pressure might be the cause.
If you’re noticing these symptoms you should schedule an appointment for an exam because they may be a sign that you’re having a health issue.
6. Meeting your friends at the neighborhood barbecue isn’t as fun
Once again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. It’s so much harder to make out what people are saying in loud places. It becomes impossible for you to hear anything when you’re around something as simple as the AC turning on or kids splashing and playing in the pool. And trying to keep up with conversations is exhausting.
7. You’re normally not this worn out
Battling to understand words is draining. Your brain has to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more fatigued than usual. You may even experience differences in your other senses. If your brain is using 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 have your ears checked.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
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’re experiencing hearing loss it’s difficult to follow along with dialog on your favorite shows. Dialogue is being jumbled by background music and sound effects. What about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing could be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
The good thing is, if your hearing is declining, hearing aids can help, you just need to get a hearing test.
If you experience any of the above signs of hearing loss, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.