Your hearing won’t be just gone one day when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss happens in degrees, particularly when it is linked to the aging process. You might not detect it’s taking place right away but some signs do show up earlier.
These early developing symptoms progress very subtly. Slowing down the development of hearing loss and its related health challenges is a matter of early detection. But if you don’t know what the early symptoms are, you won’t be able to recognize if you have them. Consider these eight barely detectable signs that you might have hearing loss.
1. You hear some people perfectly fine but not others
Maybe you can understand the cashier perfectly, but when your wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled. It’s a typical indication that the nerves that send signals to the brain are damaged (known as sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is not as clear to you because it’s higher in pitch. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can become a problem. Those tones are high, too.
2. You avoid phone conversations
It’s easy to make excuses for why you don’t pick up the phone when it rings:
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet
- I get tons of spam calls – that’s most likely what it is
You dread talking on the phone, but why? It will be a useful idea to get someone else to check the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still aren’t able to hear what the other person is saying. You probably have a hearing loss problem if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why is everybody mumbling?
It seems like it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they speak, it’s your neighbor, the news woman, your partner, and even your bartender. It’s hard to imagine that everybody in your life suddenly has poor enunciation so this is a good indication of hearing decline. How you hear words is changing. One of the first indications that something is happening with your hearing is when it sounds like people are mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” are dropping off.
4. You’re saying “what?” a lot
You might not even realize that you can’t 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 detect that you’re struggling to hear. If someone comments on it, you should pay attention.
5. Why do I hear ringing sounds in my ears?
This sign is somewhat more obvious, but unless it becomes a distraction, people tend to disregard it. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a prevalent symptom of hearing loss.
Tinnitus can also be periodic because triggers are a significant factor. Maybe, when you first get 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 crucial that you don’t ignore these tinnitus symptoms because it’s an indication 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 fun
It’s no fun when it sounds as if that many people are mumbling all at once. It’s so much harder to make out what people are saying in noisy places. Something as basic as youngsters playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC kicking on you makes it impossible to hear anything. And trying to focus in on conversations is tedious.
7. You’re normally not this exhausted
Struggling to understand words is exhausting. You feel more tired than usual because your brain has to work harder to try and interpret what it’s attempting to hear. Your other senses might even begin to change. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye test was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
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. It can be difficult to hear the dialogue on your favorite shows when you have hearing loss. The background music and sound effects are befuddling dialogue, for example. There are other things like the room AC or ceiling fan to cope with. Your hearing could be failing if you constantly turn up the volume.
Fortunately, all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing assessment and if it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will help you get back to normal.
If you experience any of the above signs of hearing loss, contact us today to schedule an appointment.