It isn’t like you simply wake up one day, and suddenly can’t hear. Hearing loss, especially when it’s associated with aging, typically advances in degrees. You may not detect it’s occurring immediately but some signs do show up earlier.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Recognizing them sooner is essential to slow down the development of hearing loss or other health issues related to aging. However, you’re unable to recognize the signs if you have no clue what they are. Consider these eight barely detectable signs that you might have hearing loss.
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 typical sign of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice is higher in pitch, and that’s why it’s unclear. You might have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. Even higher pitched tones such as the phone ringing or alarm clock can get lost. Those are also high pitched tones.
2. You don’t like to talk on the phone
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
Contemplate why you dislike using your phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t understand what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. You probably have a hearing loss issue if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why is everyone mumbling?
It used to be just the kids, but as of late, the lady 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 everyone in your life is mumbling, you’re probably dealing with hearing loss, because what is the likelihood of that? The way you hear words is changing. Mumbling or lost consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the initial indications that your hearing is changing.
4. You’re saying “what?” a lot
You may not even recognize that you’re unable to hear conversations anymore until someone points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Frequently, the first people to detect that you’re 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. What’s that ringing in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something individuals tend to dismiss unless it’s distracting. 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. For instance, maybe the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only manifests in the morning or when you are tired. Or, it could also be an indication of high blood pressure, circulatory issues, or trauma.
If you’re noticing these symptoms you should schedule an appointment for an exam because they may be an indication that you’re having a health problem.
6. Meeting your friends at the neighborhood barbecue isn’t as enjoyable
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 more difficult. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re in the presence of something as basic as the AC turning on or children splashing and playing in the pool. And trying to keep up with conversations is tedious.
7. You’re usually not this worn out
Battling to understand words is exhausting. You feel more tired than normal because your brain has to work harder to try and interpret what it’s attempting to hear. You might even notice differences in your other senses. How much energy is left for eyesight, for instance, if your brain is using so much of its energy trying to hear and understand words? 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 keep turning the volume on your TV up, it becomes all too easy to blame your service provider or that old TV. When you’re experiencing hearing loss it’s hard to hear dialog on your favorite shows. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialogue, for example. What about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing may be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
The good thing is, if your hearing is declining, hearing aids can help, you just need to get a hearing test.
If you notice any of the above signs of hearing loss, give us a call today to make an appointment.