It’s not like you just wake up one day, and suddenly can’t hear. For most people, hearing loss comes in degrees, particularly when it is linked to the aging process. You may not recognize it’s occurring immediately but some indicators do appear earlier.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Identifying them sooner is essential to delay the development of hearing loss or other health issues associated with aging. But if you don’t know what the early symptoms are, you won’t be able to recognize if you have them. You may be developing hearing loss if you notice any of the following eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. You hear some people perfectly fine but not others
Maybe you can hear the cashier perfectly, but when your wife chimes in on the conversation, everything gets messed up. It’s a common indication that the nerves that send messages to the brain are damaged (known as sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is not as clear to you because it’s higher in pitch. You may not be capable of hearing your daughter or grandchild very well for the same reason. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those are also high pitched tones.
2. You don’t like to talk on the phone
When the phone rings you are inclined to make excuses for not picking it up:
- It’s a new phone, and I’m simply not used to it yet
- It’s likely just spam
Contemplate why you dread 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. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are probably the problem.
3. Why is everybody mumbling?
It seems as if it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they speak, it’s your neighbor, the news lady, your spouse, and even your bartender. It’s hard to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation so this is a strong indication of hearing decline. You’re not hearing words the same as you once did. One of the first indications that something is going on with your hearing is when it sounds like people are mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” are getting lost.
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. Frequently the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to observe you are struggling to hear. 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. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a common symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are a significant factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. For instance, 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.
It’s essential that you don’t disregard these tinnitus symptoms because it’s a sign that something could be wrong, so you should make an appointment as soon as possible to get checked out.
6. Joining your friends at the neighborhood barbecue isn’t as enjoyable
Once again, there are those people mumbling, and that’s not fun. Also, being in noisy places makes understanding what people 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 impossible to hear anything. And trying to keep up with conversations is exhausting.
7. You’re normally not this exhausted
Battling to understand words is exhausting. You feel more tired than normal because your brain has to work overtime to try and process what it’s attempting to hear. You may even notice changes in your other senses. If your brain is using 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 checked.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
It’s easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you have to keep turning up the volume. It can be hard to hear the dialogue on your favorite shows when you have hearing loss. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialogue, for example. There are other things such as the room AC or ceiling fan to deal with. Your hearing may be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
The good thing is, if your hearing is failing, hearing aids can help, you just need to get a hearing test.
Contact us today to make an appointment for a hearing test if you’ve detected any of the above signs.