Your hearing won’t be simply gone one day when you wake up. Hearing loss, particularly when it’s caused by aging, usually advances in degrees. Some indicators show up earlier, though, and you don’t recognize there is a problem right away.
These early developing symptoms advance very subtly. Slowing down the progression of hearing loss and its related health challenges is a matter of early detection. But if you are unaware of what the early symptoms are, you won’t be able to recognize if you have them. You might be developing hearing loss if you notice any of the following eight barely detectable indicators.
1. Certain voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Maybe when you speak with your brother, you can understand 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 distribute electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice is less clear to you because the pitch is higher. You may not be capable of hearing 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 don’t like to talk on the phone
When the phone rings you are inclined to make excuses for not picking it up:
- I get a lot of spam calls – that’s probably what it is
- It’s a brand new phone, and I’m simply not used to it yet
Contemplate why you dread talking on your phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t hear what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are probably the issue.
3. Why is everyone mumbling?
It seems like it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they speak, it’s your neighbor, the news woman, your partner, 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? You’re not hearing words the same as you once did. One of the first signs that something is going on with your hearing is when it sounds like people are mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” are dropping off.
You might not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations anymore until someone points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Often, the first people to notice you are 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. What’s that ringing in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle indication, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s disruptive. 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. Perhaps, when you first get up in the morning is when you have the most noticeable ringing or buzzing. Or a trauma, circulatory issues, or high blood pressure may be the cause.
It’s crucial that you don’t ignore these tinnitus symptoms because it’s a sign that something could be wrong, so you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible to get an exam.
6. It’s not as enjoyable attending the neighborhood get-together
Once again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. It’s so much more difficult to understand what people are saying in noisy settings. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re around something as simple as the AC turning on or kids splashing and playing in the pool. And, you always feel exhausted from trying to focus in on conversations.
7. You’re normally not this fatigued
It’s exhausting when you struggle to understand words. You feel more fatigued than normal because your brain needs to work harder to try and process what it’s trying to hear. Your other senses might even begin to change. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left over for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye test was normal, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
When you have to keep turning the volume up on your TV, it becomes all too easy to blame your service provider or that out-dated TV. It can be difficult to hear the dialogue on your favorite shows when you have hearing loss. Dialogue is being jumbled by background music and sound effects. How about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If you keep turning up the volume, then your hearing may be failing.
Fortunately, all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing test and if it turns out your hearing is failing, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.
Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for a hearing assessment if you’ve detected any of the above signs.