Your hearing won’t be just gone one day when you wake up. Hearing loss, particularly when it’s caused by aging, generally progresses in degrees. Some indicators show up earlier, though, and you don’t detect there is an issue right away.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Delaying the progression of hearing loss and its associated health problems is a matter of early detection. But if you don’t know what the early symptoms are, you won’t be able to recognize if you have them. You may be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely noticeable signs.
1. You hear some people perfectly fine but not others
Maybe you can understand the cashier just fine, but when your wife chimes in on the conversation, everything gets muddled. It’s a typical indication that the nerves that transmit messages to the brain are damaged (called sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it’s unclear. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even higher pitched tones such as the phone ringing or alarm clock can get lost. Those tones are high, too.
2. You avoid phone calls
When the phone rings you often make excuses for not picking it up:
- It’s a 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
Contemplate why you dread talking on your phone. If you have the volume at max and can’t hear 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 seems like it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they talk, it’s your neighbor, the news woman, your spouse, and even your bartender. It’s difficult to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation so this is a strong indication of hearing loss. You’re not hearing words the same as you used to. One of the first indications 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 may not even realize that you’re unable to hear conversations anymore until somebody points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Very often the people you see on a daily basis like coworkers or family are the first to observe you are having a hard time hearing. You should certainly pay attention if someone says something.
5. What’s that ringing in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something individuals tend to dismiss unless it’s distracting. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a common symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are an important factor in tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. For instance, maybe the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired. Or a trauma, circulatory problems, or high blood pressure might be the cause.
It’s essential 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. It isn’t as enjoyable attending the neighborhood get-together
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 noisy places. Something as basic as kids playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC kicking on you makes it impossible to hear anything. And, you always feel fatigued from trying to keep up with conversations.
7. You feel more tired than usual
It’s laborious when you struggle to understand words. Your brain has to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more tired than normal. Your other senses might even start 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?
It’s easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you have to keep cranking up the volume. When you have hearing loss it’s difficult to hear dialog on your favorite shows. The background music and sound effects are befuddling dialogue, for example. What about the other things in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If you keep turning the volume up, then your hearing might be failing.
Fortunately, all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing test and if it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.
If you experience any of the above signs of hearing loss, give us a call today to make an appointment.