You may think it would be evident, but hearing loss will be slow, so how does one know if they have it? There’s no sharp pain to function as a warning sign. You do not pass out or make a few more trips to the bathroom when 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.
Even so, there are indications if you know to look for them. It’s a matter of paying attention to how you hear and the impact any change could be having on your life. Consider the ways you’re able to pinpoint hearing loss for you or somebody you love.
A Change in Speech
The impact on socializing provides a number of the most telling signs. For instance, if the first word out of your mouth through most discussions is “what?” That shows you are not comprehending words easily. Asking the people you talk to repeat what they said is something they are very likely to detect before you do, too, so listen to how people respond to having a chat with you.
When talking in a group of a couple of people, you may have difficulty following along. You are missing bits of what each person says, thus you are not part of the conversation. You can’t ask everybody speaking to echo themselves, either, so you only get lost. As time passes, you dodge group discussions or stand there not understanding what’s said, since it’s just too confusing once you do.
The Background Noise Drowns Everything Out
If all you hear nowadays is background sound, then it’s time for a hearing exam. This is a frequent sign of hearing loss because you are not able to filter out sounds like a fan blowing off or an air conditioner running. It gets to the point at which you can not hear what folks are saying for you since it becomes lost in the background sound.
The TV Creeps Up and Doesn’t Stop
It is easy to blame the need to turn the TV volume up on that tired box because of a noisy area, but when it happens all the time, it’s most likely an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everyone else starts telling you that you have the TV or computer volume too loud, you should wonder why this really is, and, probably, conclude that your hearing is not like it was once.
You Find Yourself Watching Their Mouth
Lip reading is a coping mechanism for missed words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the loss of hard sounds. Words which contain specific letters will probably be faulty. Your brain might automatically shift your attention to the individual’s lips to fix the issue. It is likely that you don’t even know you do it before somebody tells you or unexpectedly looks uncomfortable when speaking with you.
Then There is the Ringing
It can be a ringing, clicking or buzz or the noise of wind in your ears — that is called tinnitus, and it is an indication of significant hearing loss. These sounds aren’t real, but auditory hallucinations that just you hear. For some folks, they are just bothersome, but for others tinnitus is debilitating. If you’ve got it, then you surely have hearing loss you will need to handle.
Hearing problems aren’t always evident to the individual experiencing them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your loved ones are telling you about your hearing. Consider, too, other medical problems that can contribute to this problem such as high blood pressure or medication you have been prescribed that can damage your ears and discover if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem you should be worried about.
If you do come to this conclusion, see your doctor and get a professional hearing test for confirmation. Hearing loss is not the end of the world, but for most, it will mean it is time to consider hearing aids.