It isn’t like you just wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss, especially when it’s related to aging, usually progresses in degrees. Some indicators appear earlier, though, and you don’t recognize there is a problem immediately.
These initially developing symptoms advance very discreetly. Identifying them sooner is crucial to slow down the development of hearing loss or other health problems related to aging. However, you can’t recognize the signs if you don’t know what they are. You may be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely noticeable signs.
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 sign that the nerves that send messages to the brain are damaged (known as sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is higher in pitch, and that’s why it’s unclear. 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 are also high pitched tones.
2. You avoid phone conversations
When the phone rings you tend to make excuses for not answering:
- It’s probably just spam
- I’m just not used to this new phone yet
You hate talking on the phone, but why? 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 problem if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why is everybody mumbling?
It seems as if it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they talk, it’s your neighbor, the news lady, your spouse, and even your bartender. If it seems as if everybody in your life is mumbling, you’re most likely dealing with hearing loss, because what is the likelihood of that? You’re not hearing words the same as you used to. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the initial indications that your hearing is going through changes.
You may not even realize that you can’t hear conversations anymore until someone 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 observe you are having a hard time hearing. If someone comments on it, you should pay attention.
5. What’s that ringing in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to dismiss unless it’s disruptive. A common sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.
Tinnitus can also be periodic because triggers are a significant factor. For example, maybe the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only occurs in the morning or when you are tired. Or, it could also be a symptom of high blood pressure, circulatory issues, or trauma.
It’s important that you don’t disregard these tinnitus symptoms because it’s an indication that something might be wrong, so you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible to get an exam.
6. Joining your friends at the neighborhood barbecue isn’t as enjoyable
It’s no fun when it sounds like that many individuals are mumbling at the same time. Also, being in noisy settings makes understanding what individuals say that much more difficult. Something as simple as children 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 keep up with conversations is exhausting.
7. You’re normally not this exhausted
Struggling to understand words is exhausting. Your brain needs to work overtime to process what it can hear, so you are more tired than normal. Your other senses may even start to change. How much energy is left over for eyesight, for instance, if your brain is spending so much of its energy trying to hear and understand words? If your last eye exam was good, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
When you have to keep turning the volume on your TV up, it becomes all too easy to blame your service provider or that old TV. It can be hard to hear the dialogue on your favorite shows when you have hearing loss. Dialogue is being jumbled by background music and sound effects. There are other things like the room AC or ceiling fan to deal with. Your hearing could be failing if you constantly turn up the volume.
The good news is, all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing assessment and if you find out your hearing is failing, hearing aids will help you get back to normal.
If you notice any of the above signs of hearing loss, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.