A man is unable to hear or see and is surrounded by question marks.

You may think it’d be evident, but hearing loss can be slow, so how can one know they have it? There is no darting pain to function as a danger sign. You don’t lose consciousness or make unnecessary trips to the toilet once it happens, either. It’s safe to say the signs of hearing loss are more subtle than other age-related illnesses like diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Even so, there are indications if you know what you’re looking for. It is a matter of paying attention to the way you hear and the impact any change might be having on your life. Consider some ways you’re able to identify hearing loss for you or somebody you care about.

Social Time is a Chore

The impact on socializing offers a number of the most telling signs. As an example, if the first thing out of your mouth during most discussions is “what?” That should be a sign you are not understanding words easily. Questioning people that you speak to tell you again what they said is something they are very likely to detect before you do, too, so pay attention to how people react to having conversations with you.

When talking in a group of a couple of individuals, you might have trouble keeping track of things. You are missing parts of what each person says, thus you are not connecting the dots anymore. You can not ask everybody talking to echo themselves, either, so you only get lost. Over time, you limit group conversations or stand there not understanding what is stated, because it’s just too confusing once you do.

Background Noise Comes Forward

If the only thing you hear these days is background sound, then it is time to get a hearing exam. This is a frequent symptom 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 Creeps Up and Doesn’t Stop

It’s simple to excuse the need to flip the TV volume up on that dying set because of a busy area, but when it occurs every day, it is probably a sign of gradual hearing loss. When everybody else begins complaining that you have the TV or computer volume too loud, you should wonder why that is, and, likely, come to terms with the fact that your hearing is not like it was once.

You Find Yourself Seeing Their Mouth

Reading lips is a coping mechanism for missing words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the reduction of hard sounds. Words that contain specific letters will probably be incomplete. Your mind might automatically shift your eyes to the individual’s lips to fix the problem. Chances are you won’t even understand you do it before someone points it out or unexpectedly acts uncomfortable when talking with you.

Tinnitus Keeps You Up

You may hear a clicking, ringing, or buzzing or the noise of breeze in your ears — that is called tinnitus, and it’s a sign of significant hearing loss. These sounds are not real, but phantom noises that just you hear. For many folks, they are just annoying, but for many others tinnitus is debilitating. If you have that, then you certainly have hearing loss that you need to address.

Hearing problems aren’t always obvious to the individual experiencing them, but it is to others. Listen to what your loved ones are telling you about your hearing. Consider, too, other medical issues that may contribute to the problem such as hypertension or medication you have been prescribed that can damage your ears and discover if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem for you.

It’s like assembling the pieces of a puzzle. If you do come to this decision, visit your doctor and receive a professional hearing test for confirmation. Hearing loss isn’t a catastrophe, but for many, it will mean it is time to consider hearing aids.