You may think it’d be evident, but hearing loss tends to be slow, so how can one know if they have it? There is no sharp pain to function as a warning sign. You don’t lose consciousness or make a few more trips to the toilet when it happens, either. It is safe to say the symptoms of hearing loss are more subtle than other autoimmune disorders like diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Nevertheless, there are indicators should you know to look for them. It is a matter of paying attention to how you hear and the effect any change might be having in your life. Consider some ways you’re able to pinpoint hearing loss for you or someone you love.
A Change in Conversation
The impact on socialization provides a number of the most telling signals. For instance, if the first thing from your mouth during most discussions is “what?” That should be a sign you are not understanding words easily. Asking the people you talk to repeat what they said is something they’re likely to notice before you do, too, so pay attention to how people react to having a chat with you.
When speaking to a group of two or more individuals, you may have difficulty keeping track of things. You are missing parts of what everyone says, thus you aren’t part of the conversation. You can’t ask everyone talking to echo themselves, either, so you just get lost. Over time, you hide from group discussions or stand there not listening to what’s said, since it is just too confusing when you do.
The Background Noise Takes Over
If all you hear these days is background sound, then it is time for a hearing test. This is a common sign of hearing loss because you’re no longer able to filter out sounds just like a fan blowing or an air conditioner running. It gets to the point at which you can not hear what people are saying for you because it becomes lost in the background noise.
The TV Goes Up and Up
It is simple to excuse the need to flip the TV volume up on this dying box because of a busy room, but when it happens every day, it is most likely an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everybody else begins complaining that you’ve got the TV or computer volume up too high, you need to wonder why that is, and, likely, come to terms with the fact that your hearing isn’t like it was at one time.
You Find Yourself Watching Their Mouth
Lip reading is a coping skill for missing words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the loss of tough sounds. Words that contain certain letters will probably be incomplete. Your mind might automatically refocus your eyes on the individual’s lips to fix the issue. It is likely that you don’t even understand you do it until somebody points it out or suddenly acts uncomfortable when speaking to you.
Then There’s the Clicking
The constant clicking or buzzing or the sound of wind in your ears — medically this is called tinnitus, and it’s a warning of significant hearing loss. These sounds aren’t real, but phantom noises that only you hear. For some folks, they are only annoying, but for many others tinnitus is debilitating. If you’ve got it, then you certainly have hearing loss that you need to address.
Hearing problems are not always obvious to the individual suffering from them, but it is to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing loss. Consider, also, other medical problems that may give rise to this problem such as high blood pressure or medication you have been prescribed that could harm your ears and discover if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem you should be worried about.
If you do come to that decision, visit your doctor and receive a professional hearing test for affirmation. Hearing loss isn’t the worst health issue you could have, but for many, it does imply it is time to think about hearing aids.