You may think it would be obvious, but hearing loss will be slow, so how can one know if they have it? There’s no stinging pain to function as a danger sign. You don’t lose consciousness or make extra trips to the toilet once it happens, either. It is safe to say the signs of hearing loss are somewhat more subtle than other autoimmune disorders like diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Nevertheless, there are indications should you know what to look for. It is a matter of paying attention to the way you hear and the effect any change might be having on your life. Consider the ways you can pinpoint hearing loss for you or someone you love.
You Notice a Change in Conversations
The effect on socializing provides a number of the most telling signals. As an example, if the first thing out of your mouth during most discussions is “what?” That should be a sign you aren’t understanding words easily. Questioning people that you talk to tell you again what they said is something they’re likely to detect before you do, too, so pay attention to the way people react to having conversations with you.
When talking in a group of two or more individuals, you might have trouble following along. You are missing pieces of what everyone says, so you aren’t connecting the dots anymore. You can’t ask everyone talking to repeat themselves, either, so you just get lost. As time passes, you dodge group conversations or stand there not listening to what’s stated, because it is just too confusing once you do.
The Background Noise Takes Over
If all you hear these days is background noise, then it’s time for a hearing exam. This is a frequent sign of hearing loss because you are no longer able to filter out sounds like a fan blowing or an air conditioner running. It gets to the point where you can’t hear what folks are saying to you since it becomes lost in the background sound.
The TV Volume Goes 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 if it occurs all the time, it is most likely an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everyone else starts telling you that you’ve got the TV or computer volume up too high, you should wonder why that is, and, likely, conclude that your hearing is not as good as it had been once.
You End up Seeing Their Mouth
Lip reading is a compensation technique for missing words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the loss of tough sounds. Words that contain specific letters will probably be faulty. Your brain might automatically shift your eyes to the person’s lips to fix the problem. It is likely that you don’t even understand you do it before someone points it out or suddenly seems uncomfortable when talking to you.
Then There is the Buzzing
The constant clicking or buzzing or the noise of wind in your ears — that is called tinnitus, and it is a warning of significant hearing loss. These sounds aren’t real, but phantom noises that only you hear. For many people, they are just bothersome, but for many others tinnitus is debilitating. If you’ve got it, then you surely have hearing loss you will need to handle.
Hearing problems are not always evident to the person experiencing them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing loss. Consider, also, other medical problems that can contribute to the problem like high blood pressure or medication you have been prescribed that can harm your ears and discover if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem for you.
When you do come to this conclusion, see your doctor and get a professional hearing test for affirmation. Hearing loss is not the end of the world, but for many, it will imply it is time to consider hearing aids.