It isn’t like you simply wake up one day, and suddenly can’t hear. Hearing loss, particularly when it’s caused by aging, generally progresses in degrees. Some indicators appear earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is a problem immediately.
The early symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Recognizing them sooner is essential to slow down the progression of hearing loss or other health issues connected to aging. But if you don’t know what the early symptoms are, you won’t be capable of recognizing if you have them. Contemplate these eight barely noticeable indicators that you might have hearing loss.
1. Some voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Maybe when you talk with your brother, you can understand him fine, but when your wife talks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a common indication of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that deliver electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice is less clear to you because it’s higher in pitch. You might have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. Even higher pitched tones like the phone ringing or alarm clock can get lost. Those tones are high, also.
2. You don’t like to talk on the phone
When the phone rings you often make excuses for not answering:
- I get tons of spam calls – that’s probably what it is
- I’m just not used to this brand new phone yet
You hate talking on the phone, but why? It will be a useful idea to get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still can’t hear what the other person is saying. If they are able to hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are probably the issue.
3. Why is everybody mumbling?
It used to be just the kids, but lately, the woman on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your spouse all seem like they are mumbling when they talk to you. 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? You’re not hearing words the same as you used to. 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 getting lost.
It might not be until somebody points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you realize you are developing hearing loss. Often, the first people to detect that you’re developing hearing loss are the people you see every day, like family and coworkers. You should certainly pay attention if someone says something.
5. What’s that ringing in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a prevalent symptom of hearing loss.
Tinnitus can also be intermittent because triggers are a significant factor. Maybe, when you first wake up in the morning is when you have the most significant ringing or buzzing. 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 an indication that you’re having a health problem.
6. Joining your friends at the neighborhood BBQ isn’t as fun
It’s no fun when it sounds as if that many people are mumbling at the same time. It’s so much harder to understand what people are saying in noisy places. It becomes impossible for you to hear anything when you’re around something as basic as the AC kicking in or kids splashing and playing around the pool. And attempting to keep up with conversations is tedious.
7. You feel more tired than normal
Struggling to understand words is exhausting. Your brain needs to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more fatigued than usual. Your other senses might even begin to change. How much energy is left over for eyesight, for instance, if your brain is spending so much of its energy attempting to hear and understand words? If your last eye test 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 blame your service provider or that out-dated TV. When you’re experiencing 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 like the room AC or ceiling fan to cope with. Your hearing may be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
The good news is, all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing test and if it turns out your hearing is failing, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.
If you experience any of the above signs of hearing loss, give us a call today to make an appointment.