It may seem like it would be evident, but hearing loss can be slow, so how does someone know if they have it? There’s no stinging pain to serve as a warning sign. You do not collapse or make unnecessary trips to the toilet once it occurs, 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 if you know what you’re looking for. It is a matter of paying attention to the way you hear and the impact any change could be having in your life. Consider the ways you can pinpoint hearing loss for you or somebody you love.
A Change in Conversation
The impact on socializing offers a number of the most telling signals. As an example, if the first word from your mouth during most conversations is “what?” That shows you are not comprehending words easily. Questioning people that you speak to tell you again what they said is something they’re likely to notice before you do, too, so listen to how people respond to having discussions with you.
When talking in a group of a couple of people, you may have difficulty following along. You’re missing parts of what everyone says, thus you aren’t connecting the dots anymore. You can not ask everybody speaking to repeat themselves, either, so you only get lost. As time passes, you hide from group conversations or stand there not listening to what is stated, since it’s just too confusing once you do.
The Little Everyday Sounds Takes Over
If all you hear these days is background sound, then it is time for a hearing test. This is a common symptom of hearing loss because you are no longer able to filter out sounds like a fan blowing off or an air conditioner running. It gets to the point where you can not hear what people are saying for you because it becomes lost in the background sound.
The TV Creeps Up and Upward
It’s simple to excuse the need to flip the TV volume up on that tired set because of a noisy area, but when it occurs every day, it is probably a sign of gradual hearing loss. When everybody else starts telling you that you’ve got the TV or computer volume too loud, you should wonder why that is, and, likely, conclude that your hearing is not like it had been at one time.
You End up Watching Their Lips
Lip reading is a compensation mechanism for missed words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the reduction of tough sounds. Words that contain specific letters will probably be faulty. Your mind might automatically shift your eyes to the individual’s lips to repair the issue. Chances are you won’t even know you do it before somebody tells you or unexpectedly looks uncomfortable when talking with you.
Then There’s the Clicking
It can be a ringing, clicking or buzz or the noise of wind in your ears — this is called tinnitus, and it is a warning of significant hearing loss. These sounds aren’t real, but auditory hallucinations that just you hear. For some people, they are only bothersome, but for others tinnitus is debilitating. If you’ve got that, then you certainly have hearing loss you need to handle.
Hearing problems aren’t always evident to the person experiencing them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your loved ones are telling you about your hearing. Consider, also, other medical problems that can contribute to this problem like high blood pressure or medication you take that can 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 that decision, visit your health care provider and get a professional hearing test for affirmation. Hearing loss isn’t the end of the world, but for many, it does imply it is time to think about hearing aids.