Your hearing won’t be simply gone one day when you wake up. Hearing loss, especially when it’s associated with aging, typically advances in degrees. Some indicators appear earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is a problem immediately.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Slowing down the development of hearing loss and its related health challenges is a matter of early detection. However, you can’t recognize the signs if you have no clue what they are. You may 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 you can hear the cashier perfectly, but when your wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled. It’s a common sign that the nerves that transmit messages to the brain are damaged (known as sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is less clear to you because the pitch is higher. You might 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:
- It’s a brand new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet
- I get tons of spam calls – that’s most likely what it is
Contemplate why you dread talking on your phone. If you have the volume at max and can’t understand what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. You probably have a hearing loss issue if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why does everybody mumble these days?
It used to be just the kids, but lately, the woman on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your spouse all seem like they’re mumbling when they speak with you. If it seems like everyone in your life is mumbling, you’re probably dealing with hearing loss, because what is the likelihood of that? You’re not hearing words the same as you once did. 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’re unable to hear conversations anymore until someone points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Often, the first people to detect that you’re developing hearing loss are the people you see on a daily basis, like family and coworkers. You should certainly pay attention if somebody says something.
5. Why do I hear ringing noises in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle indication, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s distracting. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a prevalent symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are an important factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. Perhaps, when you first get up in the morning is when you have the most significant ringing or buzzing. Or, it could also be an indication of high blood pressure, circulatory problems, or trauma.
If you’re noticing these symptoms you should schedule an appointment for an exam because they may be an indication that you’re having a health issue.
6. Joining your friends at the neighborhood barbecue isn’t as fun
Once again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. It’s so much more difficult to make out what people are saying in noisy settings. Something as basic as children 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’re usually not this exhausted
Battling to understand words is exhausting. You feel more tired than normal because your brain needs to work harder to try and process what it’s attempting to hear. You may even experience 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 normal, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
When you have to constantly turn the volume up on your TV, it becomes all too easy to blame your service provider or that out-dated TV. It can be hard to follow the dialogue on your favorite shows when you have hearing loss. Dialogue is being jumbled by background music and sound effects. How about the other things in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing may be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
The good news is, all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing test and if it turns out your hearing is failing, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.
If you experience any of the above signs of hearing loss, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.