Your hearing won’t be simply gone one day when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss progresses 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.
These initially developing symptoms progress very discreetly. Identifying them sooner is crucial to slow down the development of hearing loss or other health problems 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 might be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely noticeable signs.
1. You hear some people just fine but not others
Maybe when you talk with your brother, you can hear him fine, but when your wife talks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a typical indication of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain.
Her voice is higher in 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 like the phone ringing or alarm clock can get lost. Those are also high pitched tones.
2. You avoid phone conversations
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 most likely what it is
You hate talking on the phone, but why? If you have the volume all the way up 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 used to be just the kids, but lately, the woman on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your partner all seem like they’re mumbling when they talk to you. If it seems as if everyone in your life is mumbling, you’re most likely dealing with hearing loss, because what is the likelihood of that? How you hear words is changing. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the initial indications that your hearing is changing.
You may not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations anymore until somebody points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Very often the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to observe that you’re having a hard time hearing. If someone comments on it, you should pay attention.
5. What’s that ringing in my ears?
This sign is somewhat more obvious, but unless it becomes a distraction, people tend to disregard it. A common sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.
Tinnitus can also be intermittent because triggers are a significant factor. For example, maybe the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired. Or a trauma, circulatory issues, or high blood pressure may be the cause.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms you should schedule an appointment for an exam because they may be a sign that you’re having a health issue.
6. Meeting your friends at the neighborhood BBQ isn’t as fun
It’s no fun when it sounds like that many people are mumbling all at once. It’s so much more difficult to understand what people are saying in noisy places. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re in the presence of something as basic as the AC kicking in or kids splashing and playing in the pool. And attempting to keep up with conversations is exhausting.
7. You feel more worn out than usual
It’s exhausting when you struggle to understand words. Your brain needs to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more fatigued than normal. Your other senses may even begin to change. 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 hearing checked.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
When you have to constantly turn the volume on your TV up, it becomes all too easy to place the blame on your service provider or that old TV. It can be hard to follow the dialogue on your favorite shows when you have hearing loss. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialogue, for example. What about the other things in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? If you keep turning up the volume, then your hearing might be failing.
Luckily, if your hearing is declining, hearing aids can help, you just need to have your hearing tested.
Give us a call today to make an appointment for a hearing test if you’ve detected any of the above signs.