You may think it would be obvious, but hearing loss tends to be gradual, so how can someone know they have it? There is no shooting pain to function as a warning sign. You do not collapse or make additional trips to the toilet when it occurs, either. It is safe to say the signs of hearing loss are somewhat more subtle than other autoimmune disorders like diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Even so, there are indications if you know to look for them. It is a matter of paying attention to the way you hear and the effect any change might be having in your life. Consider some ways you can identify hearing loss for you or somebody you love.
A Change in Conversation
The impact on socialization offers a number of the most telling signals. For instance, if the first thing from your mouth through most conversations is “what?” That shows 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 folks respond to having conversations with you.
When speaking to a group of two or more individuals, you might have trouble following along. You’re missing pieces of what everybody says, so you aren’t connecting the dots anymore. You can not ask everybody talking to repeat themselves, either, so you only get lost. Over time, you avoid group discussions or stand there not listening to what is stated, because it is just too confusing when you do.
Background Noise is Too Much
If the only thing you hear nowadays is background sound, then it is time for a hearing exam. This is a frequent symptom of hearing loss because you are no longer able to filter out sounds like a fan blowing or an air conditioner operating. It gets to the point where you can’t hear what folks are saying for you because it becomes lost in the background noise.
The TV Volume Goes Up and Up
It is easy to blame the need to flip the TV volume up on this dying set because of a noisy room, but when it happens all the time, it is most likely 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 this really is, and, likely, come to terms with the fact that your hearing is not as good as it had been once.
You Find Yourself Seeing Their Lips
Lip reading is a compensation technique for missed words. Gradual hearing loss starts with the loss of hard sounds. Words which contain certain letters will probably be faulty. Your mind might automatically shift your eyes to the person’s lips to repair the problem. It is likely that you won’t even understand you do it before someone tells you or unexpectedly acts uncomfortable when talking to you.
Then There’s the Buzzing
You may hear a clicking, ringing, or buzzing or the noise of wind in your ears — that is called tinnitus, and it is a sign of significant hearing loss. These sounds are not real, but phantom sounds that just you hear. For some people, they are only bothersome, but for many others tinnitus is painful. If you’ve got that, then you surely have hearing loss you will need to address.
Hearing problems are not always apparent to the person experiencing them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing. Consider, too, other medical problems that can contribute to the problem such as 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 is really like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. When you do come to this conclusion, see your health care provider and receive a professional hearing test for confirmation. Hearing loss isn’t the worst health issue you could have, but for most, it will imply it is time to think about hearing aids.