It’s not like you just wake up one day, and suddenly can’t hear. Hearing loss, particularly when it’s associated with aging, generally progresses in degrees. You might not recognize it’s taking place immediately but some signs do show up earlier.
These initially developing symptoms advance very subtly. Delaying the development of hearing loss and its related health problems is a matter of early detection. But if you are unaware of what the early symptoms are, you won’t be capable of recognizing if you have them. You might be developing hearing loss if you notice any of the following eight barely detectable signs.
1. Certain voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Maybe you can understand the cashier perfectly, but when your wife joins the conversation, everything gets messed up. It’s a common indication of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that deliver electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice is higher in pitch, and that’s why it’s unclear. You may not be able to hear your daughter or grandchild very well for the same reason. Even higher pitched tones such as the phone ringing or alarm clock can get lost. Those are also high pitched tones.
2. You avoid phone conversations
It’s easy to make excuses for why you don’t pick up the phone when it rings:
- I’m just not used to this brand new phone yet
- I get tons of spam calls – that’s most likely what it is
Contemplate 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 probably have a hearing loss problem if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why does everybody mumble these days?
It seems like it’s no longer only the kids who are mumbling when they talk, it’s your neighbor, the news lady, your spouse, and even your bartender. It’s difficult to imagine that everybody in your life suddenly has poor enunciation so this is a strong indication of hearing decline. The way you hear words is changing. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is going through changes.
You may not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations anymore until somebody points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Often, the first people to detect you are developing hearing loss are the people you see on a daily basis, like family and coworkers. You should definitely pay attention if somebody says something.
5. Why do I hear ringing sounds in my ears?
This sign is somewhat more obvious, but unless it becomes a distraction, people tend to ignore it. A common sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, medically called tinnitus.
Triggers are an important factor in tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. Perhaps, when you first wake up in the morning is when you have the most significant ringing or buzzing. Or, it could also be a symptom of high blood pressure, circulatory issues, or trauma.
It’s important that you don’t ignore these tinnitus symptoms because it’s an indication that something could be wrong, so you should make an appointment right away to get checked out.
6. It’s not as fun going to the neighborhood get-together
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. It’s so much harder to make out what people are saying in noisy settings. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re around something as simple as the AC kicking in or children splashing and playing in the pool. And attempting to keep up with conversations is exhausting.
7. You’re usually not this fatigued
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. You might even experience changes in your other senses. 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 eyes have tested fine, now it’s time to get your ears 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. It can be hard to follow the dialogue on your favorite shows when you have hearing loss. The background music and sound effects are befuddling dialogue, for example. There are other things like the room AC or ceiling fan to deal with. If you keep turning up the volume, then your hearing might be failing.
Luckily, if your hearing is failing, hearing aids can help, you just need to have your hearing tested.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing assessment if you’ve experienced any of the above signs.