You may think it would be evident, but hearing loss can be gradual, so how can someone know if they have it? There is no stinging pain to function as a warning signal. You do not collapse or make extra trips to the bathroom when it occurs, either. It is safe to say the symptoms of hearing loss are more subtle than other age-related illnesses like diabetes or heart disease.
Nevertheless, there are indications if you know what to look for. It’s a matter of paying attention to the way you hear and the impact any change might be having on your life. Take the time to consider the ways you’re able to pinpoint hearing loss for you or somebody you care about.
Conversation Can Be a Challenge
The effect on socializing provides some of the most telling indications. As an example, if the first thing from your mouth through most discussions is “what?” That should be a sign you aren’t understanding words easily. Asking the people you speak to repeat what they said is something they are very likely to notice before you do, too, so listen to the way people react to having discussions with you.
When talking in a group of two or more people, you may have difficulty keeping track of things. You are missing parts of what everybody says, so you are not connecting the dots anymore. You can not ask everyone speaking to repeat themselves, either, so you just get lost. Over time, you limit group conversations or stand there not understanding what is stated, since it is just too confusing once you do.
The Background Noise Takes Over
If the only thing you hear nowadays is background noise, then it is time to get a hearing test. This is a frequent sign of hearing loss since you’re not able to filter out sounds just like a fan blowing or an air conditioner running. It gets to the point where you can not hear what folks are saying to you since it becomes lost in the background noise.
The TV Creeps Up and Doesn’t Stop
It’s easy to blame the need to turn the TV volume up on this tired set because of a busy room, but when it happens all the time, it is most likely a sign of gradual hearing loss. When everybody else begins complaining that you have the TV or computer volume too loud, you need to wonder why this really is, and, likely, come to terms with the fact that your hearing isn’t like it had been once.
You End up Watching Their Lips
Reading lips is a compensation mechanism for missed words. Gradual hearing loss starts with the reduction of tough sounds. Words which contain certain letters will be incomplete. Your mind might automatically refocus your eyes on the person’s lips to repair the problem. Chances are you won’t even know you do it until someone tells you or unexpectedly seems uncomfortable when speaking to you.
There’s a Ringing in Your Ears
You may hear a clicking, ringing, or buzzing or the sound of wind in your ears — this is called tinnitus, and it is a warning of significant hearing loss. These sounds aren’t real, but phantom sounds that just you hear. For many people, they are only annoying, but for others tinnitus is debilitating. If you have that, then you most surely have hearing loss you will need to address.
Hearing problems aren’t always evident to the individual suffering from them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your loved ones are telling you about your hearing. Consider, also, other medical issues that may contribute to the problem like hypertension or medication you have been prescribed that could harm your ears and find out if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem you should be worried about.
If you do come to this decision, visit your doctor and receive a professional hearing test for affirmation. Hearing loss isn’t a catastrophe, but for most, it will imply it’s time to think about hearing aids.