It’s not like you just wake up one day, and suddenly can’t hear. Hearing loss, especially when it’s related to aging, generally progresses in degrees. Some indicators appear earlier, though, and you don’t recognize there is an issue right away.
The early symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Slowing down the progression of hearing loss and its related health problems is a matter of early detection. However, you can’t recognize the signs if you don’t know what they are. You might be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely detectable signs.
1. You hear some people perfectly fine but not others
Maybe you can understand the cashier just fine, but when your wife chimes in on the conversation, everything gets messed up. It’s a common indication of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that distribute electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You may not be able to hear 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 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:
- I’m just not used to this new phone yet
- I get tons of spam calls – that’s most likely what it is
You hate talking on the phone, but why? It will be a good idea to get someone else to check the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still aren’t able to hear what the other person is saying. You probably have a hearing loss problem if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why does everybody mumble these days?
It seems like 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. If it seems like everyone 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 once did. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first indications that your hearing is changing.
4. You’re saying “what?” a lot
You may not even realize that you’re unable to hear conversations anymore until someone points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Often, the first people to detect that you’re developing hearing loss are the people you see on a daily basis, like family and coworkers. You should certainly pay attention if somebody says something.
5. Why do I hear ringing sounds in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something individuals tend to dismiss 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. For example, maybe the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only occurs in the morning or when you are tired. Or a trauma, circulatory issues, or high blood pressure could be the cause.
It’s essential that you don’t ignore these tinnitus symptoms because it’s an indication that something could be wrong, so you should make an appointment as soon as possible to get an exam.
6. It’s not as enjoyable attending the neighborhood block party
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. Also, being in loud places makes understanding what people say that much harder. Something as simple as children playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC kicking on you makes it extremely tough to hear anything. And attempting to keep up with conversations is exhausting.
7. You’re usually not this fatigued
It’s exhausting when you struggle to understand words. You feel more fatigued than usual because your brain has to work overtime to try and process what it’s attempting to hear. You might even experience changes in your other senses. If your brain is using 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left over for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye exam was normal, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
It is easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you need to keep cranking the volume up. When you’re experiencing hearing loss it’s difficult to hear dialog on your favorite shows. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialogue, for example. There are other things like the room AC or ceiling fan to deal with. If you keep turning up the volume, then your hearing might be failing.
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.