It may seem like it would be evident, but hearing loss will be slow, so how can one know they have it? There is no stinging pain to function as a warning sign. You don’t pass out or make additional trips to the toilet once it occurs, either. It’s safe to say the signs of hearing loss are more subtle than other age-related illnesses like diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Nevertheless, there are indications should you know what you’re looking for. It’s a matter of paying attention to how you hear and the effect any change could be having in your life. Consider the ways you’re able to pinpoint hearing loss for you or someone you care about.
A Shift in Speech
The impact on socializing provides a number of the most telling signals. For instance, if the first thing from your mouth through most discussions is “what?” That shows you aren’t comprehending words easily. Questioning people that you speak 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 a chat with you.
When talking in a group of two or more individuals, you may have trouble following along. You are missing parts of what everyone says, so you aren’t part of the conversation. You can’t ask everybody speaking to repeat themselves, either, so you only get lost. As time passes, you limit group discussions or stand there not understanding what is stated, since it is just too confusing once you do.
The Background Noise Drowns Everything Out
If all you hear these days is background sound, then it’s time to get a hearing exam. This is a universal sign of hearing loss since you’re not 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 to you since it becomes lost in the background noise.
The TV Volume Creeps Up and Up
It is easy to blame the need to turn the TV volume up on that tired box because of a noisy room, but when it occurs every day, it’s probably an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everybody else begins telling you that you’ve got the TV or computer volume up too high, you need to wonder why this is, and, likely, conclude that your hearing is not like it was at one time.
You End up Seeing Their Mouth
Reading lips is a coping skill for missed words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the reduction of hard sounds. Words that contain certain letters will be incomplete. Your mind might automatically shift your attention to the person’s lips to fix the issue. It is likely that you don’t even understand you do it before someone tells you or suddenly looks uncomfortable when talking to you.
Then There is the Clicking
The constant clicking or buzzing or the noise of wind in your ears — medically this is called tinnitus, and it is a warning of significant hearing loss. These sounds are not real, but phantom noises that only you hear. For many people, they are only bothersome, but for many others tinnitus is debilitating. If you have that, then you most surely have hearing loss that you need to handle.
Hearing problems are not always evident to the person suffering from them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your loved ones are telling you about your hearing loss. Consider, also, other medical problems that can contribute to this problem like hypertension or medication you take that can damage 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 health care provider and receive a professional hearing test for affirmation. Hearing loss isn’t the worst health issue you could have, but for many, it does mean it’s time to think about hearing aids.