Your hearing won’t be just gone one day when you wake up. Hearing loss, especially when it’s related to aging, generally advances in degrees. Some signs show up earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is a problem right away.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Delaying the development of hearing loss and its related health problems is a matter of early detection. However, you can’t recognize the signs if you don’t know what they are. 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 you can understand the cashier perfectly, but when your wife joins the conversation, everything gets messed up. It’s a typical sign that the nerves that send messages to the brain are damaged (called sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is higher in pitch, and that’s why it’s unclear. You may not be able to hear 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 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:
- I’m just not used to this new phone yet
- I get tons of spam calls – that’s probably what it is
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 issue if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why does everyone mumble these days?
It seems like it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they speak, it’s your neighbor, the news woman, your spouse, and even your bartender. If it seems like everyone in your life is mumbling, you’re most likely dealing with hearing loss, because what is the probability of that? You’re not hearing words the same as you once did. Mumbling or lost consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the initial indications that your hearing is changing.
4. You’re saying “what?” a lot
It might not be until someone points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you recognize you are developing hearing loss. Frequently the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice that you’re having a hard time hearing. You should certainly pay attention if someone says something.
5. What’s that ringing in my ears?
This sign is a bit more obvious, but unless it becomes a disruption, people tend to ignore it. A prevalent sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.
Triggers are a significant factor in tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. For instance, maybe the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only occurs in the morning or when you are tired. Or a trauma, circulatory issues, or high blood pressure could be the cause.
It’s crucial that you don’t disregard these tinnitus symptoms because it’s a sign that something could be wrong, so you should make an appointment as soon as possible to get an exam.
6. Meeting your friends at the neighborhood barbecue isn’t as enjoyable
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. It’s so much more difficult to understand what people are saying in noisy places. Something as basic as kids playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC kicking on you makes it extremely tough to hear anything. And, you always feel exhausted from trying to keep up with conversations.
7. You’re usually not this worn out
Struggling to understand words is draining. Your brain has to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. Your other senses may even begin to change. 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 most recent eye exam was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
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 place the blame on your service provider or that out-dated TV. It can be hard to follow the dialogue on your favorite shows when you’re dealing with hearing loss. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialogue, for example. How about the other things in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If you keep cranking the volume up, then your hearing could be failing.
Luckily, if your hearing is declining, hearing aids can help, you just need to get a hearing test.
Give us a call today to make an appointment for a hearing assessment if you’ve experienced any of the above signs.