It may seem like it’d be obvious, but hearing loss tends to be gradual, so how can one know if they have it? There is no shooting pain to function as a warning sign. You do not collapse or make unnecessary trips to the bathroom when it occurs, either. It is safe to say the symptoms of hearing loss are more subtle than other autoimmune disorders like diabetes or heart disease.
Even so, there are indicators if you know to look for them. It’s a matter of paying attention to how you hear and the impact any change could be having on your life. Consider some ways you can pinpoint hearing loss for you or someone you care about.
The effect on socializing provides some of the most telling signals. As an example, if the first word out of your mouth during most conversations is “what?” That should be a sign you aren’t comprehending words well. Asking the people that you talk to tell you again what they said is something they’re very likely to notice before you do, too, so listen to how people react to having conversations with you.
When speaking to a group of two or more individuals, you may have difficulty keeping track of things. You are missing pieces of what everybody says, thus you aren’t part of the conversation. You can not ask everyone talking to repeat themselves, either, so you only get lost. As time passes, you limit group discussions or stand there not listening to what’s said, because it’s just too confusing when you do.
The Background Noise Takes Over
If all you hear nowadays is background sound, then it is time to get a hearing test. This is a common sign of hearing loss since you’re no longer able to filter out sounds like a fan blowing off or an air conditioner running. It gets to the point where you can not hear what folks are saying to you because it becomes lost in the background noise.
The TV Volume Goes Up and Up
It is simple to excuse the need to flip the TV volume up on that tired box because of a noisy area, but when it occurs all the time, it is most likely an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everyone else begins complaining that you’ve got the TV or computer volume up too high, you need to wonder why that is, and, probably, come to terms with the fact that your hearing isn’t like it had been once.
You End up Watching Their Mouth
Lip reading is a compensation mechanism for missed words. Gradual hearing loss starts with the reduction of tough sounds. Words which contain certain letters will be incomplete. Your brain might automatically refocus your eyes on the person’s lips to repair the issue. Chances are you won’t even understand you do it until somebody points it out or unexpectedly looks uncomfortable when speaking to you.
You Hear Something Else
You may hear a clicking, ringing, or buzzing or the noise of breeze in your ears — medically this is called tinnitus, and it’s a warning of significant hearing loss. These sounds aren’t real, but auditory hallucinations that just you hear. For some folks, they are only annoying, but for many others tinnitus is painful. If you’ve got that, then you certainly have hearing loss you will need to handle.
Hearing problems aren’t always evident to the individual experiencing them, but it is to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing. Consider, also, other medical problems that may contribute to the problem like high blood pressure or medication you take that could damage your ears and discover if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem you should be worried about.
If you do come to this decision, visit your doctor and get a professional hearing test for affirmation. Hearing loss isn’t a catastrophe, but for many, it does imply it’s time to consider hearing aids.