You may think it’d be obvious, but hearing loss tends to be gradual, so how can one know they have it? There’s no darting pain to function as a warning sign. You don’t lose consciousness or make a few more trips to the restroom once it happens, either. It is safe to say the signs of hearing loss are more subtle than other age-related illnesses like diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Nevertheless, there are indicators should you know what to look for. It is a matter of paying attention to how you hear and the impact any change might be having in your life. Take the time to consider the ways you can identify hearing loss for you or somebody you love.
Talking with Others is Harder
The effect on socializing offers some of the most telling signs. For instance, if the first thing from your mouth during most conversations is “what?” That shows you aren’t comprehending words easily. Asking the people you speak to tell you again what they said is something they’re likely to detect before you do, too, so listen to the way folks respond to having a chat with you.
When talking in a group of two or more individuals, you may have trouble following along. You’re missing parts of what each person says, thus you aren’t part of the conversation. You can’t ask everyone talking to echo themselves, either, so you only get lost. As time passes, you limit group discussions or stand there not understanding what is stated, because it is just too confusing when you do.
The Background Noise Takes Over
If all you hear these days is background sound, then it’s time to get a hearing exam. This is a common symptom of hearing loss because you are no longer able to filter out sounds just like a fan blowing or an air conditioner operating. It gets to the point at which you can not hear what folks are saying for you because it becomes lost in the background sound.
The TV Volume Creeps Up and Upward
It is easy to blame the need to turn the TV volume up on this tired box because of a noisy area, but if it happens all the time, it’s probably an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everybody else begins telling you that you’ve got the TV or computer volume too loud, you should wonder why that is, and, likely, conclude that your hearing is not like it was once.
You End up Seeing Their Lips
Lip reading is a coping skill for missing words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the reduction of hard sounds. Words which contain certain letters will probably be incomplete. Your brain might automatically shift your attention to the individual’s lips to fix the problem. Chances are you don’t even know you do it until somebody points it out or suddenly acts uncomfortable when talking with you.
Then There’s the Buzzing
It can be a ringing, clicking or buzz or the noise of breeze in your ears — medically that is called tinnitus, and it’s a warning of significant hearing loss. These sounds aren’t real, but phantom sounds that only you hear. For some folks, they are just bothersome, but for others tinnitus is debilitating. If you have it, then you certainly have hearing loss you will need to handle.
Hearing problems aren’t always evident to the individual experiencing them, but it is to others. Listen to what your loved ones are telling you about your hearing loss. Consider, too, other medical issues that can give rise to this problem like high blood pressure or medication you take that could damage your ears and discover if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem for you.
When you do come to that conclusion, visit your doctor and receive a professional hearing test for confirmation. Hearing loss isn’t a catastrophe, but for many, it will mean it’s time to consider hearing aids.