Your hearing won’t be just gone one day when you wake up. For most individuals, hearing loss progresses 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 right away.
These initially developing symptoms advance very subtly. Identifying them sooner is crucial to slow down the development of hearing loss or other health problems 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 detectable signs that you might have hearing loss.
1. Some voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Maybe you can understand the cashier just fine, but when your wife joins the conversation, everything gets messed up. It’s a typical sign that the nerves that send signals to the brain are damaged (called sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is less clear to you because it’s higher in pitch. You may not be capable of hearing your daughter or grandchild very well for the same reason. 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 calls
When the phone rings you often make excuses for not answering:
- It’s most likely just spam
- It’s a new phone, and I’m simply not used to it yet
You hate talking on the phone, but why? If you have the volume at max and can’t understand what is being said, let someone else 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 does everyone mumble these days?
It used to be just the kids, but as of late, the lady on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your partner all seem like they are mumbling when they speak with you. It’s hard to imagine that everybody 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 lost consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first indications that your hearing is changing.
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 on a daily basis like coworkers or family are the first to observe you are having a hard time hearing. You should definitely pay attention if someone says something.
5. What’s that ringing in my ears?
This sign is somewhat more obvious, but unless it becomes a distraction, people tend to disregard it. A common sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.
Triggers are an important factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. Perhaps, when you first wake up in the morning is when you have the most significant ringing or buzzing. Or a trauma, circulatory issues, or high blood pressure might be the cause.
It’s essential that you don’t disregard these tinnitus symptoms because it’s an indication that something may be wrong, so you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible to get checked out.
6. It’s not as enjoyable attending the neighborhood get-together
It’s no fun when it sounds as if that many people are mumbling at the same time. It’s so much more difficult to make out what people are saying in noisy places. Something as simple as children playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC kicking on you makes it impossible to hear anything. And attempting to keep up with conversations is exhausting.
7. You feel more fatigued than normal
It’s exhausting when you struggle to understand words. Your brain needs to work harder to process what it does hear, so you are more fatigued than usual. You might even notice differences in your other senses. If your brain is using 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left over for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye test was good, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
8. Why can’t I hear this TV?
It’s easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you have to keep turning the volume up. When you have hearing loss it’s hard to hear dialog on your favorite shows. Dialogue is being jumbled by background music and sound effects. How about the other things in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If you keep turning up the volume, then your hearing could be failing.
Fortunately, all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing exam and if it turns out your hearing is failing, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.
If you notice any of the above signs of hearing loss, contact us today to make an appointment.