It’s not like you just wake up one day, and suddenly can’t hear. For most individuals, hearing loss happens in degrees, especially when it is associated with aging. Some signs show up earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is a problem immediately.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Identifying them sooner is essential to delay the progression of hearing loss or other health problems connected to aging. However, you’re unable to detect the signs if you don’t know what they are. You may be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely detectable indicators.
1. Some voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Maybe you can hear the cashier just fine, but when your wife chimes in on the conversation, everything gets muddled. It’s a typical indication that the nerves that send signals to the brain are damaged (called sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is not as clear to you because the pitch is higher. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can become a problem. Those tones are high, also.
2. You don’t like to talk on the phone
It’s easy to make excuses for why you don’t answer the phone when it rings:
- It’s a brand new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet
- I get a lot of spam calls – that’s probably what it is
You hate talking on the phone, but why? If you have the volume at max and can’t hear what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. If they are able to hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are likely the problem.
3. Why does everybody mumble these days?
It used to be just the kids, but as of late, the woman on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your spouse all seem like they’re mumbling when they speak with you. It’s difficult to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has bad enunciation so this is a strong indication of hearing loss. 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.
It might not be until somebody points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you realize you are developing hearing loss. Frequently the people you see on a daily basis like coworkers or family are the first to detect that you’re having a hard time hearing. If somebody comments on it, you should pay attention.
5. Why do I hear ringing noises in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but it is something individuals tend to ignore unless it’s distracting. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a common symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are an important factor in tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. Perhaps, when you first get up in the morning is when you have the most significant ringing or buzzing. Or a trauma, circulatory problems, or high blood pressure may be the cause.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms you should make an appointment for an exam because they could be an indication that you’re having a health problem.
6. Joining your friends at the neighborhood BBQ isn’t as enjoyable
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. It’s so much more difficult to understand what people are saying in loud settings. Something as simple as youngsters playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC coming on you makes it impossible to hear anything. And, you always feel exhausted from trying to focus in on conversations.
7. You’re usually not this exhausted
Battling to understand words is draining. Your brain needs to work overtime to process what it can hear, so you are more tired than normal. You may 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 for your eyesight or balance? If your eyes have tested fine, now it’s time to get your hearing 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 cranking up the volume. 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. There are other things like the room AC or ceiling fan to deal with. If you keep cranking up the volume, then your hearing might be failing.
Fortunately, all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing exam and if it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.
Call us today to make an appointment for a hearing assessment if you’ve experienced any of the above signs.