It’s not like you just wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. For most individuals, hearing loss happens in degrees, especially when it is linked to the aging process. You might not recognize it’s occurring right away but some indicators do appear earlier.
The early symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Identifying them sooner is crucial to slow down the progression of hearing loss or other health issues associated with aging. But if you don’t know what the early symptoms are, you won’t be capable of recognizing if you have them. You may be developing hearing loss if you notice any of the following eight barely noticeable signs.
1. You hear some people perfectly fine but not others
Perhaps you can understand the cashier just fine, but when your wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled. It’s a typical indication that the nerves that send signals to the brain are damaged (known as sensorineural hearing loss).
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 technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those tones are high, too.
2. You don’t like to talk on the phone
When the phone rings you tend to make excuses for not answering:
- It’s probably just spam
- I’m just not used to this brand new phone yet
You dread 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 at max and you still can’t hear what the other person is saying. If they are able to hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are probably the problem.
3. Why is everybody mumbling?
It seems like it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they talk, it’s your neighbor, the news lady, your spouse, and even your bartender. 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? The way you hear words is changing. 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 getting lost.
It may not be until somebody points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you realize you are developing hearing loss. Often, the first people to detect that you’re developing hearing loss are the people you see every day, like family and coworkers. If someone comments on it, you should pay attention.
5. What’s that ringing in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but it is something individuals tend to ignore unless it’s distracting. A prevalent sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, medically called tinnitus.
Tinnitus can also be periodic because triggers are a significant factor. For instance, perhaps 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.
It’s important that you don’t ignore these tinnitus symptoms because it’s an indication that something may be wrong, so you should make an appointment as soon as possible to get checked out.
6. Meeting your friends at the neighborhood BBQ isn’t as fun
Once again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. It’s so much harder to understand what people are saying in noisy settings. Something as basic as children playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC coming on you makes it extremely tough to hear anything. And, you always feel exhausted from trying to focus in on conversations.
7. You’re usually not this exhausted
Struggling to understand words is draining. Your brain needs to work harder to process what it does hear, so you are more fatigued than normal. Your other senses might even start to change. How much energy is left over for eyesight, for example, if your brain is spending so much of its energy trying to hear and understand words? If your eyes have tested fine, now it’s time to have your ears 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 blame your service provider or that out-dated TV. It can be hard to follow the dialogue on your favorite shows when you’re dealing with hearing loss. Dialogue is being muddled by background music and sound effects. There are other things like the room AC or ceiling fan to cope with. Your hearing could be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
The good thing is, if your hearing is declining, hearing aids can help, you just need to have your hearing tested.
If you experience any of the above signs of hearing loss, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.