It’s not like you just wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss, especially when it’s related to aging, usually advances in degrees. Some indicators appear earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is an issue right away.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Slowing down the development 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 able to recognize if you have them. You may be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Some voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Perhaps you can hear the cashier just fine, but when your wife chimes in on the conversation, everything gets messed up. It’s a common sign of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that deliver electrical signals to the brain.
Her voice is higher in pitch, and that’s why it’s unclear. You might 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 calls
When the phone rings you are inclined to make excuses for not answering:
- I’m just not used to this brand new phone yet
- It’s likely just spam
Consider why you dread using your phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t hear what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. You most likely have a hearing loss issue if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why is everybody mumbling?
It seems like it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they talk, it’s your neighbor, the news woman, your spouse, and even your bartender. If it seems like everybody 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 getting lost.
It may not be until someone points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you recognize you are developing hearing loss. Frequently the people you see on a daily basis like coworkers or family are the first to notice that you’re having a hard time hearing. If someone comments on it, you should pay attention.
5. Why do I hear ringing noises in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but it is something individuals tend to dismiss 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. For instance, maybe the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired. Or, it could also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory issues, or trauma.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms you should make an appointment for an exam because they might be a sign that you’re having a health issue.
6. Meeting your friends at the neighborhood barbecue isn’t as enjoyable
It’s no fun when it sounds like that many individuals are mumbling all at once. Also, being in noisy settings makes understanding what people say that much more difficult. Something as basic as kids playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC coming on you makes it extremely tough to hear anything. And, you always feel fatigued from trying to focus in on conversations.
7. You feel more worn out than usual
Struggling to understand words is draining. You feel more fatigued than normal because your brain needs to work harder to try and process what it’s trying to hear. You might even notice changes in your other senses. How much energy is left for eyesight, for example, if your brain is using so much of its energy trying to hear and understand words? If your eyes have tested fine, now it’s time to have your hearing assessed.
8. Why can’t I hear this TV?
When you have to constantly turn the volume up on your TV, it becomes all too easy to place the blame on your service provider or that out-dated TV. When you have hearing loss it’s hard to follow along with dialog on your favorite shows. Dialogue is being jumbled by background music and sound effects. What about the other things in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If you keep cranking the volume up, then your hearing might be failing.
Fortunately, all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing test 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, give us a call today to make an appointment.