It’s not like you just wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss, especially when it’s associated with aging, typically progresses in degrees. Some signs appear earlier, though, and you don’t detect there is a problem immediately.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are discrete. Identifying them sooner is crucial to delay the development of hearing loss or other health issues associated with aging. 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 noticeable signs that you might have hearing loss.
1. Some voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Perhaps you can hear the cashier just fine, but when your wife chimes in on the conversation, everything gets muddled. It’s a typical indication of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You might have the same issue 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 picking it up:
- It’s probably just spam
- I’m just not used to this brand new phone yet
You hate talking on the phone, but why? If you have the volume at max and can’t hear what is being said, let a friend 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 used to be just the kids, but lately, the lady on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your partner all seem like they’re mumbling when they speak with you. It’s difficult to imagine that everybody in your life suddenly has poor enunciation so this is a strong indication of hearing decline. The way you hear words is changing. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the initial indications that your hearing is changing.
4. You’re saying “what?” a lot
You might 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 on a daily basis like coworkers or family are the first to observe that you’re struggling to hear. If somebody comments on it, you should pay attention.
5. What’s that ringing in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but it is something individuals tend to dismiss unless it’s distracting. A common sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.
Tinnitus can also be periodic because triggers are a significant factor. Maybe, when you first wake up in the morning is when you have the most pronounced ringing or buzzing. Or, it could also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory issues, or trauma.
If you’re noticing these symptoms you should schedule an appointment for an exam because they might be a sign that you’re having a health issue.
6. Meeting your friends at the neighborhood barbecue isn’t as enjoyable
It’s no fun when it sounds like that many individuals are mumbling all at once. It’s so much harder to make out what people are saying in noisy places. It becomes impossible for you to hear anything when you’re in the presence of something as basic as the AC turning on or youngsters splashing and playing in the pool. And, you always feel exhausted from trying to focus in on conversations.
7. You’re normally not this fatigued
Battling to understand words is exhausting. Your brain needs to work harder to process what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. You might even notice changes 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 get your hearing checked.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
When you have to keep turning the volume on your TV up, it becomes all too easy to blame your service provider or that out-dated TV. It can be difficult to follow the dialogue on your favorite shows when you have hearing loss. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialogue, for example. There are other things such as the room AC or ceiling fan to cope with. If you keep cranking up the volume, then your hearing could be failing.
Fortunately, all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing assessment and if you find out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.
Call us today to make an appointment for a hearing assessment if you’ve noticed any of the above signs.