Your hearing won’t be just gone one day when you wake up. For most individuals, hearing loss comes in degrees, especially when it is associated with the aging process. You may not recognize it’s taking place right away but some signs do appear earlier.
The early symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Identifying them sooner is crucial to delay the development of hearing loss or other health problems associated with aging. However, you can’t detect the signs if you have no clue what they are. You might be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely detectable signs.
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 messed up. It’s a typical sign that the nerves that transmit messages to the brain are damaged (called sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You may not be capable of hearing 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, also.
2. You avoid phone conversations
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 simply not used to it yet
- It’s likely just spam
Consider why you dislike talking on your phone. If you have the volume at max and can’t understand what is being said, let someone else 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 used to be just the kids, but lately, the woman on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your partner all seem like they are mumbling when they speak with you. It’s hard to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation so this is a good indication of hearing decline. The way you hear words is changing. One of the first signs 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 can’t hear conversations anymore until someone points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Often, the first people to notice that you’re developing hearing loss are the people you see on a daily basis, like family and coworkers. 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. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a common symptom of hearing loss.
Tinnitus can also be intermittent because triggers are a significant factor. For example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired. Or a trauma, circulatory problems, or high blood pressure may be the cause.
If you’re noticing these symptoms you should make an appointment for an exam because they might be a sign that you’re having a health problem.
6. Joining your friends at the neighborhood barbecue isn’t as fun
It’s no fun when it sounds like that many people are mumbling all at once. Also, being in noisy settings makes understanding what individuals say that much harder. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re in the presence of something as simple as the AC kicking in or kids splashing and playing around the pool. And, you always feel exhausted from trying to keep up with conversations.
7. You feel more tired than normal
It’s exhausting when you struggle to understand words. You feel more fatigued than normal because your brain needs to work harder to try and process what it’s attempting to hear. Your other senses may even begin to change. How much energy is left over for eyesight, for example, if your brain is spending so much of its energy attempting to hear and understand words? If your most recent 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 place the blame on your service provider or that out-dated TV. It can be difficult to hear the dialogue on your favorite shows when you’re dealing with hearing loss. Dialogue is being jumbled by background music and sound effects. How about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If you keep cranking up the volume, then your hearing could be failing.
Fortunately, all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing assessment and if you find out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will help you get back to normal.
If you notice any of the above signs of hearing loss, contact us today to schedule an appointment.