It isn’t like you just wake up one day, and suddenly can’t hear. Hearing loss, especially when it’s related to aging, typically progresses in degrees. You may not realize it’s taking place right away but some indicators do appear earlier.
These early developing symptoms progress very discreetly. Identifying them sooner is crucial to slow down the development of hearing loss or other health problems connected to aging. 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 indicators.
1. Certain voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Maybe you can hear the cashier perfectly, but when your wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled. It’s a common indication that the nerves that send signals to the brain are damaged (known as sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is higher in pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You may have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those tones are high, also.
2. You avoid phone conversations
It’s easy to make excuses for why you don’t answer the phone when it rings:
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet
- It’s most likely just spam
You dread talking on the phone, but why? It will be a good idea to get someone else to check the phone for you if the volume is at max and you still aren’t able to hear what the other person is saying. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are likely the issue.
3. Why does everybody mumble these days?
It seems as if it’s no longer only the kids who are mumbling when they speak, it’s your neighbor, the news lady, your spouse, and even your bartender. If it seems like everybody in your life is mumbling, you’re most likely dealing with hearing loss, because what is the probability of that? How 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
It may not be until someone points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you realize you are developing hearing loss. Often, the first people to detect 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 sounds in my ears?
This sign is a bit more obvious, but unless it becomes a distraction, people tend to ignore it. A prevalent sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, medically called tinnitus.
Triggers are a significant factor in tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. For example, maybe the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only occurs in the morning or when you are tired. Or a trauma, circulatory problems, or high blood pressure may be the cause.
It’s crucial that you don’t ignore these tinnitus symptoms because it’s a sign that something may be wrong, so you should make an appointment right away to get checked out.
6. Joining your friends at the neighborhood BBQ isn’t as fun
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. Also, being in loud settings makes understanding what individuals say that much more difficult. Something as basic 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, you always feel fatigued from trying to keep up with conversations.
7. You feel more tired than normal
It’s exhausting when you struggle to understand words. Your brain needs to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more fatigued than normal. You might even experience differences in your other senses. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left over for your eyesight or balance? If your eyes have tested fine, now it’s time to have your ears checked.
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 blame your service provider or that old TV. It can be difficult to hear the dialogue on your favorite shows when you’re dealing with hearing loss. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialogue, for example. 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 test and if you find out your hearing is failing, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.
Call us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing assessment if you’ve noticed any of the above signs.