Your hearing won’t be simply gone one day when you wake up. Hearing loss, especially when it’s caused by aging, generally advances in degrees. You may not detect it’s occurring immediately but some indicators do show up earlier.
The early symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Recognizing them sooner is essential to delay the development of hearing loss or other health problems related to aging. But if you don’t know what the early symptoms are, you won’t be capable of recognizing if you have them. You may be developing hearing loss if you notice any of the following eight barely noticeable signs.
1. You hear some people perfectly fine but not others
Maybe when you talk with your brother, you can understand him fine, but when your wife speaks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a common sign that the nerves that send 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, too.
2. You avoid phone calls
It’s easy to make excuses for why you don’t pick up the phone when it rings:
- It’s a new phone, and I’m simply not used to it yet
- It’s likely just spam
Contemplate why you dislike talking on your phone. It will be a useful idea to get someone else to check the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still aren’t able to hear what the other person is saying. If they are able to hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are likely the issue.
3. Why does everyone mumble these days?
It used to be just the kids, but as of late, the woman on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your spouse all seem like they’re mumbling when they talk to you. If it seems as if everyone in your life is mumbling, you’re probably dealing with hearing loss, because what is the likelihood of that? The way you hear words is changing. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first indications that your hearing is going through changes.
You may 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 notice you are developing hearing loss are the people you see on a daily basis, like family and coworkers. If somebody comments on it, you should pay attention.
5. Why do I hear ringing noises in my ears?
This sign is somewhat more obvious, but unless it becomes a disruption, people tend to disregard it. A prevalent 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 manifests in the morning or when you are tired. Or a trauma, circulatory problems, or high blood pressure might be the cause.
It’s crucial that you don’t ignore these tinnitus symptoms because it’s a sign that something might be wrong, so you should make an appointment as soon as possible to get an exam.
6. It’s not as enjoyable attending the neighborhood block party
It’s no fun when it sounds like that many individuals are mumbling at the same time. It’s so much harder to make out what people are saying in loud places. Something as simple as children playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC kicking on you makes it extremely tough to hear anything. And attempting to keep up with conversations is exhausting.
7. You feel more tired than normal
It’s exhausting when you struggle to understand words. You feel more tired than normal because your brain has to work overtime to try and process what it’s trying to hear. Your other senses might even start to change. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your most recent eye exam was good, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
8. Why can’t I hear this TV?
When you have to keep turning the volume on your TV up, 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 difficult to follow along with dialog on your favorite shows. Dialogue is being jumbled by background music and sound effects. There are other things such as the room AC or ceiling fan to deal with. If you keep cranking the volume up, then your hearing might be failing.
The good news is, all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing assessment and if you find out your hearing is failing, 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.