How Do I Know Whether I Have Hearing Loss?
You may think it would be obvious, but hearing loss will be gradual, so how can one know they have it? There’s no sharp pain to function as a danger sign. You don’t collapse or make extra trips to the bathroom when it happens, either. It’s safe to say the signs of hearing loss are somewhat more subtle than other autoimmune disorders like diabetes or heart disease.
Nevertheless, there are indicators should you know to look for them. It’s 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 pinpoint hearing loss for you or someone you care about.
A Shift in Speech
The effect on socializing provides a number of the most telling indications. As an example, if the first thing out of your mouth through most conversations is “what?” That should be a sign you aren’t comprehending words easily. Asking the people that you speak to tell you again what they said is something they’re likely to notice before you do, too, so pay attention to how people respond to having a chat with you.
When talking in a group of two or more individuals, you might have difficulty keeping track of things. You are missing parts of what each person says, so you are not connecting the dots anymore. You can’t ask everybody speaking to echo themselves, either, so you just get lost. As time passes, you avoid group discussions or stand there not listening to what’s stated, since it’s just too confusing once you do.
The Little Everyday Sounds Take Over
If the only thing you hear these days is background noise, then it is time to get a hearing exam. This is a common sign of hearing loss since you are no longer able to filter out sounds just like a fan blowing off or an air conditioner running. It gets to the point where you can not hear what folks are saying for you since it becomes lost in the background noise.
The TV Volume Creeps Up and Upward
It is easy to blame the need to flip the TV volume up on this tired box because of a busy room, but when it occurs every day, it is most likely an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everyone else begins complaining that you have the TV or computer volume too loud, you should wonder why that is, and, likely, come to terms with the fact that your hearing is not as good as it had been at one time.
You Find Yourself Seeing Their Lips
Reading lips is a coping skill for missing words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the loss of tough sounds. Words which contain certain letters will be faulty. Your mind might automatically shift your eyes to the individual’s lips to repair the issue. It is likely that you won’t even know you do it until someone tells you or unexpectedly seems uncomfortable when speaking with you.
Then There is the Buzzing
You may hear a clicking, ringing, or buzzing or the sound of the breeze in your ears — this is called tinnitus, and it’s an indication of significant hearing loss. These sounds aren’t real, but auditory hallucinations that only you hear. For many people, they are only bothersome, but for many others tinnitus is painful. If you’ve got it, then you certainly have hearing loss you need to handle.
Hearing problems are not always obvious to the person experiencing them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing loss. Consider, too, other medical issues that may contribute to this problem like hypertension or medication you have been prescribed that can damage your ears and discover if age-related hearing loss runs in your family.
It’s really like putting pieces of a puzzle together. 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 most, it does imply it’s time to think about hearing aids.