It isn’t 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 show up earlier, though, and you don’t detect there is an issue right away.
These initially developing symptoms progress very subtly. Slowing down the development of hearing loss and its associated health challenges is a matter of early detection. But if you don’t know what the early symptoms are, you won’t be capable of recognizing if you have them. You might be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely noticeable signs.
1. Certain voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Maybe when you talk to your brother, you can understand him fine, but when your wife speaks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a common indication of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that deliver electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice is higher in pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You may have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those tones are high, as well.
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 probably just spam
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet
You dread talking on the phone, but why? If you have the volume all the way up 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 lately, the lady on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your spouse all seem like they are mumbling when they talk to you. If it seems like everybody in your life is mumbling, you’re probably dealing with hearing loss, because what is the probability of that? How 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.
It might not be until someone points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you realize you are developing hearing loss. Frequently the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to observe you are struggling to hear. 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 distracting. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a common symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are an important factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. Perhaps, when you first get up in the morning is when you have the most significant ringing or buzzing. Or, it could also be an indication of high blood pressure, circulatory problems, or trauma.
It’s crucial that you don’t ignore these tinnitus symptoms because it’s an indication that something might be wrong, so you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible to get an exam.
6. Joining your friends at the neighborhood BBQ isn’t as enjoyable
It’s no fun when it sounds like that many people are mumbling all at once. Also, being in loud places makes understanding what individuals say that much more difficult. It becomes impossible for you to hear anything when you’re in the presence of something as basic as the AC kicking in or children splashing and playing around the pool. And, you always feel fatigued from trying to focus in on conversations.
7. You’re usually not this fatigued
Struggling to understand words is exhausting. You feel more tired than normal because your brain needs to work harder to try and process what it’s attempting to hear. Your other senses might even begin to change. How much energy is left for eyesight, for example, if your brain is using so much of its energy trying to hear and understand words? If your eyes have tested fine, now it’s time to get your hearing checked.
8. Why can’t I hear this TV?
When you have to constantly turn the volume on your TV up, it becomes all too easy to blame your service provider or that old TV. When you have hearing loss it’s hard to hear dialog on your favorite shows. Dialogue is being muddled by background music and sound effects. What about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing might be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
Luckily, if your hearing is declining, hearing aids can help, you just need to get a hearing test.
Contact us today to make an appointment for a hearing test if you’ve detected any of the above signs.