How Do I Know Whether I Have Hearing Loss?
It may seem like it’d be obvious, but hearing loss tends to be slow, so how does someone know if they have it? There’s no darting pain to function as a warning signal. You do not pass out or make additional trips to the restroom 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 indicators should you know what you’re looking for. It’s a matter of paying attention to how you hear and the effect any change might be having in your life. Consider the ways you’re able to pinpoint hearing loss for you or somebody you love.
Talking to People is Harder
The impact on socializing provides some of the most telling signals. As an example, if the first word from your mouth through most conversations is “what?” That shows you are not understanding words well. Questioning people you talk to repeat what they said is something they are very likely to detect before you do, too, so listen to the way people respond to having a chat with you.
When speaking to a group of two or more individuals, you might have trouble following along. You are missing parts of what each person says, so you are not part of the conversation. You can’t ask everybody speaking to repeat themselves, either, so you only get lost. As time passes, you avoid group conversations or stand there not listening to what is stated, because it’s just too confusing once you do.
The Little Everyday Sounds Takes Over
If the only thing you hear nowadays is background sound, then it’s time to get a hearing test. This is a common sign of hearing loss since you’re no longer able to filter out sounds just like a fan blowing or an air conditioner running. It gets to the point where you can not hear what people are saying for you since it becomes lost in the background sound.
The TV Volume Creeps Up and Up
It is simple to excuse the need to turn the TV volume up on that dying set because of a busy room, but when it happens every day, it’s most likely an indication of a gradual hearing loss. When everyone else starts complaining that you’ve got the TV or computer volume up too high, you need to wonder why this really is, and, likely, come to terms with the fact that your hearing is not like it had been at one time.
You Find Yourself Seeing Their Mouth
Reading lips is a coping skill for missing words. Gradual hearing loss starts with the loss of hard sounds. Words that contain specific letters will be faulty. Your brain might automatically refocus your eyes on the individual’s lips to fix the issue. It is likely that you won’t even understand you do it before someone points it out or unexpectedly acts uncomfortable when speaking to you.
Then There’s the Buzzing
You may hear a clicking, ringing, or buzzing or the sound of a breeze in your ears — medically this is called tinnitus, and it is a sign of significant hearing loss. These sounds are not real, but auditory hallucinations that just you hear. For some people, they are just annoying, but for others tinnitus is painful. If you have that, then you most certainly have hearing loss that you will need to address.
Hearing problems aren’t always obvious to the person suffering from them, but it is to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing. Consider, also, other medical problems that may give rise to the problem like high blood pressure or medication you have been prescribed that could damage your ears and find out if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem for you.
When you do come to that decision, visit your health care provider and receive a professional hearing test for confirmation. Hearing loss is not a catastrophe, but for many, it does imply it’s time to think about hearing aids.