Your hearing won’t be simply gone one day when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss comes in degrees, especially when it is related to the aging process. You might not detect it’s happening right away but some indicators do show up earlier.
These early developing symptoms progress very subtly. Recognizing 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 able to recognize if you have them. You may be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. You hear some people just fine but not others
Perhaps you can understand the cashier just fine, but when your wife joins the conversation, everything gets messed up. It’s a common sign of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain.
Her voice is less clear to you because it’s higher in pitch. You might not be capable of hearing your daughter or grandchild very well for the same reason. 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:
- I get a lot of spam calls – that’s most likely what it is
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet
Contemplate why you dislike talking on your phone. If you have the volume at max and can’t hear what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. If they are able to hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are probably the problem.
3. Why is everyone mumbling?
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 talk to you. It’s difficult to imagine that everybody in your life suddenly has poor enunciation so this is a strong indication of hearing decline. You’re not hearing words the same as you once did. Mumbling or lost consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first indications that your hearing is going through changes.
It might 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 you are developing hearing loss are the people you see every day, like family and coworkers. You should definitely pay attention if someone says something.
5. Why do I hear ringing sounds in my ears?
This sign is a bit more obvious, but unless it becomes a disruption, people tend to ignore it. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a common symptom of hearing loss.
Tinnitus can also be intermittent because triggers are a significant factor. Maybe, when you first get up in the morning is when you have the most noticeable ringing or buzzing. Or, it could also be an indication of high blood pressure, circulatory problems, or trauma.
If you’re noticing these symptoms you should schedule an appointment for an exam because they may be an indication that you’re having a health problem.
6. It isn’t as enjoyable attending the neighborhood get-together
It’s no fun when it sounds as if that many people are mumbling all at once. Also, being in loud places makes understanding what people say that much more difficult. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re around something as basic as the AC kicking in or children splashing and playing around the pool. And attempting to focus in on conversations is exhausting.
7. You’re usually not this fatigued
It’s exhausting when you struggle to understand words. Your brain needs to work overtime to process what it can hear, so you are more fatigued than usual. Your other senses might even begin to change. How much energy is left over for eyesight, for instance, if your brain is using so much of its energy trying to hear and understand words? If your last eye exam was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
It is easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you need to keep turning the volume up. It can be difficult to hear the dialogue on your favorite shows when you’re dealing with hearing loss. Dialogue is being muddled by background music and sound effects. What about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If you keep turning the volume up, then your hearing could be failing.
The good thing is, if your hearing is failing, hearing aids can help, you just need to get a hearing test.
Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for a hearing test if you’ve detected any of the above signs.