Your hearing won’t be simply gone one day when you wake up. Hearing loss, particularly when it’s related to aging, typically progresses in degrees. Some signs show up earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is a problem right away.
The early symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Delaying the development of hearing loss and its related health challenges is a matter of early detection. However, you can’t detect the signs if you don’t know what they are. You may be developing hearing loss if you notice any of the following eight barely detectable indicators.
1. Some voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Perhaps you can hear the cashier just fine, but when your wife chimes in on the conversation, everything gets messed up. It’s a typical sign that the nerves that send signals to the brain are damaged (known as sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is not as clear to you because it’s higher in pitch. You might have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can become a problem. Those are also high pitched tones.
2. You don’t like to talk on the phone
When the phone rings you often make excuses for not picking it up:
- It’s likely just spam
- I’m simply not used to this new phone yet
Contemplate why you dread talking on your phone. 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 are able to hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are likely the issue.
3. Why does everyone mumble these days?
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 are mumbling when they speak with you. It’s difficult to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has bad enunciation so this is a strong indication of hearing loss. The way you hear words is changing. Mumbling or lost consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the initial indications that your hearing is changing.
4. You’re saying “what?” a lot
It may not be until someone points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you realize you are developing hearing loss. Very often the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to detect that you’re having a hard time hearing. You should certainly pay attention if someone says something.
5. Why do I hear ringing noises in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something people 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. For instance, perhaps the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only manifests 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 could be an indication that you’re having a health problem.
6. Meeting your friends at the neighborhood BBQ isn’t as enjoyable
It’s no fun when it sounds like that many people are mumbling all at once. It’s so much harder to understand what people are saying in loud settings. 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 children splashing and playing in the pool. And, you always feel exhausted from trying to focus in on conversations.
7. You feel more worn out than usual
Battling to understand words is exhausting. Your brain has to work overtime to process what it can hear, so you are more tired than usual. Your other senses might even begin to change. How much energy is left for eyesight, for instance, if your brain is spending so much of its energy attempting to hear and understand words? If your eyes have tested fine, now it’s time to have your hearing checked.
8. Why can’t I hear this TV?
It’s easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you have to keep cranking the volume up. It can be hard to hear the dialogue on your favorite shows when you’re dealing with hearing loss. The background music and sound effects are befuddling dialogue, for example. There are other things such as the room AC or ceiling fan to cope with. Your hearing may be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
Luckily, if your hearing is declining, hearing aids can help, you just need to have your hearing tested.
Call us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing assessment if you’ve experienced any of the above signs.