It may seem like it would be evident, but hearing loss will be slow, so how can one know they have it? There is no stinging pain to function as a warning sign. You do not lose consciousness or make unnecessary trips to the toilet when it occurs, either. It is safe to say the symptoms of hearing loss are more subtle than other age-related illnesses like diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Nevertheless, there are indicators if you know what to look for. It’s a matter of paying attention to how you hear and the impact any change could be having on your life. Take the time to consider the ways you can pinpoint hearing loss for you or somebody you love.
A Change in Speech
The impact on socializing offers some of the most telling indications. As an example, if the first word out of your mouth through most discussions is “what?” That shows you aren’t understanding words well. Questioning people you talk to tell you again what they said is something they are very likely to detect before you do, too, so listen to how people react to having discussions with you.
When speaking to a group of two or more individuals, you might have trouble keeping track of things. You are missing bits of what each person says, thus you aren’t connecting the dots anymore. You can not ask everyone talking to echo themselves, either, so you just get lost. As time passes, you dodge group discussions or stand there not understanding what is said, since it is just too confusing when you do.
The Background Noise Takes Over
If the only thing you hear nowadays is background sound, then it’s time for a hearing test. This is a frequent sign of hearing loss since you are not able to filter out sounds just like a fan blowing or an air conditioner running. It gets to the point at which you can not hear what people are saying to you because it becomes lost in the background noise.
The TV Volume Goes Up and Doesn’t Stop
It’s simple to excuse the need to turn the TV volume up on this tired box because of a noisy area, but when it occurs all the time, it is probably an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everybody else starts complaining that you have the TV or computer volume up too high, you should wonder why that is, and, likely, conclude that your hearing isn’t like it was at one time.
You End up Seeing Their Mouth
Reading lips is a compensation technique for missed words. Gradual hearing loss starts with the loss of tough sounds. Words which contain certain letters will probably be incomplete. Your mind might automatically shift your attention to the person’s lips to fix the problem. Chances are you do not even know you do it until someone points it out or suddenly looks uncomfortable when talking to you.
Then There is the Clicking
It can be a ringing, clicking or buzzing or the sound of breeze in your ears — this is called tinnitus, and it’s a sign of significant hearing loss. These sounds are not real, but phantom sounds that only you hear. For many people, they are just annoying, but for others tinnitus is debilitating. If you’ve got it, then you most certainly have hearing loss that you need to handle.
Hearing problems are not always obvious to the person suffering from them, but it is to others. Listen to what your loved ones are telling you about your hearing loss. Consider, too, other medical problems that may give rise to the problem like high blood pressure or medication you have been prescribed that could damage your ears and find out if age-related hearing loss runs in your family.
When you do come to that conclusion, see your doctor and receive a professional hearing test for confirmation. Hearing loss isn’t a catastrophe, but for most, it does imply it is time to consider hearing aids.