It isn’t like you simply wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss, especially when it’s caused by aging, usually progresses in degrees. You may not detect it’s taking place right away but some indicators do show up earlier.
The early symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Identifying them sooner is essential to delay the progression of hearing loss or other health problems related 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 may be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Certain voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Maybe when you talk to your brother, you can hear him fine, but when your wife speaks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a typical sign of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that deliver electrical signals to the brain.
Her voice is less clear to you because the pitch is higher. You might not be capable of hearing your daughter or grandchild very well for the same reason. Even higher pitched tones such as the phone ringing or alarm clock can get lost. Those tones are high, too.
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:
- I get tons of spam calls – that’s probably what it is
- It’s a new phone, and I’m simply not used to it yet
You dread 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 at max and you still aren’t able to hear what the other person is saying. You most likely have a hearing loss issue if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why does everyone mumble these days?
It seems as if it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they talk, 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 likelihood of that? The way 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 getting lost.
4. You’re saying “what?” a lot
It might not be until somebody points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you recognize you are developing hearing loss. Very often the people you see on a daily basis like coworkers or family are the first to notice you are struggling to hear. You should certainly pay attention if someone says something.
5. What’s that ringing in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle indication, but it is something individuals tend to ignore unless it’s disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a prevalent symptom of hearing loss.
Tinnitus can also be periodic because triggers are a significant factor. Maybe, when you first get up in the morning is when you have the most pronounced ringing or buzzing. Or, it could also be an indication of high blood pressure, circulatory problems, 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 issue.
6. It’s not as fun attending the neighborhood block party
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. Something as basic as children playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC coming on you makes it extremely tough to hear anything. And, you always feel exhausted from trying to focus in on conversations.
7. You feel more worn out than normal
It’s exhausting when you struggle to understand words. You feel more tired than normal because your brain has to work harder to try and process what it’s trying to hear. Your other senses might even start to change. 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 last eye test was good, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
It’s easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you need to keep cranking the volume up. It can be hard to hear the dialogue on your favorite shows when you have hearing loss. Dialogue is being muddled by background music and sound effects. There are other things like the room AC or ceiling fan to deal with. Your hearing might be failing if you constantly turn up the volume.
Fortunately, all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing test and if you find out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will help you get back to normal.
Call us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing assessment if you’ve detected any of the above signs.