It isn’t like you simply wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss, particularly when it’s associated with aging, usually advances in degrees. You might not realize it’s occurring immediately but some indicators do show up earlier.
These early developing symptoms advance very discreetly. Slowing down the progression of hearing loss and its associated health challenges is a matter of early detection. But if you are unaware of 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 detectable indicators.
1. You hear some people just fine but not others
Maybe when you talk to your brother, you can hear him fine, but when your wife talks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a typical indication of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain.
Her voice is less clear to you because the pitch is higher. You may not be capable of hearing your daughter or grandchild very well for the same reason. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. 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:
- I get tons of spam calls – that’s probably what it is
- I’m simply not used to this new phone yet
You hate talking on the phone, but why? It will be a useful idea to get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is at max and you still can’t hear what the other person is saying. If they are able to hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are probably the issue.
3. Why does everybody mumble these days?
It seems as if it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they speak, it’s your neighbor, the news lady, your partner, and even your bartender. It’s difficult to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has bad enunciation so this is a good indication of hearing decline. You’re not hearing words the same as you once did. One of the first signs 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
It might not be until somebody points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you realize you are developing hearing loss. Frequently, the first people to detect that you’re developing hearing loss are the people you see every day, like family and coworkers. You should certainly pay attention if somebody says something.
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 dismiss unless it’s distracting. A prevalent sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, medically called tinnitus.
Triggers are a significant factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. Perhaps, when you first get up in the morning is when you have the most noticeable ringing or buzzing. Or, it could also be an indication of high blood pressure, circulatory problems, or trauma.
It’s essential that you don’t disregard these tinnitus symptoms because it’s an indication that something might be wrong, so you should make an appointment right away to get checked out.
6. It’s not as enjoyable going to the neighborhood block party
Again, there are those people mumbling, and that’s not fun. It’s so much more difficult to make out what people are saying in loud settings. Something as basic as youngsters playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC coming on you makes it impossible to hear anything. And, you always feel fatigued from trying to keep up with conversations.
7. You feel more fatigued than normal
Struggling to understand words is exhausting. You feel more tired than normal because your brain has to work harder to try and interpret what it’s attempting to hear. You might even notice differences in your other senses. 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 last eye test was good, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
It’s easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you need to keep cranking up the volume. It can be hard 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 such as the room AC or ceiling fan to deal with. Your hearing might be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
The good news is, all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing exam and if it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.
If you notice any of the above signs of hearing loss, contact us today to make an appointment.