It may seem like it would be evident, but hearing loss will be gradual, so how can someone know they have it? There is no shooting pain to serve as a danger sign. You do not pass out or make a few more trips to the restroom 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 heart disease.
Nevertheless, there are indications if you know what to look for. It is a matter of paying attention to how you hear and the effect any change could be having on your life. Take the time to consider the ways you can pinpoint hearing loss for you or someone you love.
A Change in Speech
The impact on socializing provides a number of the most telling signs. For instance, if the first thing out of your mouth during most discussions is “what?” That shows you are not understanding words easily. Asking the people you talk to tell you again what they said is something they are very likely to notice before you do, too, so pay attention to the way folks react to having conversations with you.
When speaking to a group of two or more people, you might have difficulty following along. You are missing pieces of what each person says, thus you aren’t connecting the dots anymore. You can not ask everybody speaking to repeat themselves, either, so you just get lost. As time passes, you dodge group conversations or stand there not listening to what is stated, because it is just too confusing when you do.
The Background Noise Takes Over
If the only thing you hear these days is background sound, then it is time for 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 off, or an air conditioner operating. It gets to the point where you can not hear what folks are saying to you because it becomes lost in the background noise.
The TV Creeps Up and Upward
It is easy to blame the need to turn the TV volume up on that dying set because of a noisy area, but if it occurs all the time, it’s probably an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everyone else begins complaining that you’ve got the TV or computer volume too loud, you need to wonder why this really is, and, probably, come to terms with the fact that your hearing is not like it had been at one time.
You Find Yourself Watching Their Lips
Reading lips is a compensation mechanism for missed words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the reduction of hard sounds. Words that contain certain letters will be faulty. Your mind might automatically refocus your eyes on the person’s lips to repair the problem. It is likely that you don’t even understand you do it until someone points it out or unexpectedly looks uncomfortable when speaking to you.
Then There is the Ringing
You may hear a clicking, ringing, or buzzing or the sound of breeze in your ears — that is called tinnitus, and it is a sign of significant hearing loss. These sounds are not real, but phantom noises that just you hear. For many folks, they are just annoying, but for many others tinnitus is painful. If you’ve got it, then you most certainly have hearing loss that you need to address.
Hearing problems aren’t always evident to the person experiencing them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing. Consider, also, other medical issues that may give rise to the problem like hypertension or medication you have been prescribed that can harm your ears and discover if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem for you.
It’s like assembling the pieces of a puzzle. When you do come to this decision, see your doctor and receive a professional hearing test for affirmation. Hearing loss is not a catastrophe, but for many, it will mean it is time to consider hearing aids.