How Do I Know if I Have Hearing Loss?

A man is unable to hear or see and is surrounded by question marks.

You may think it’d be obvious, but hearing loss will be slow, so how does someone know if they have it? There’s no stinging pain to serve as a warning signal. You don’t lose consciousness or make unnecessary trips to the restroom when it happens, either. It’s safe to say the symptoms of hearing loss are more subtle than other autoimmune disorders like diabetes or heart 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 impact any change could be having in your life. Consider some ways you can identify hearing loss for you or someone you love.

Conversations Are Different

The effect on socializing offers a number of the most telling indications. As an example, if the first word out of your mouth through most discussions is “what?” That should be a sign you aren’t understanding words easily. Asking the people that you talk to tell you again what they said is something they are likely to detect before you do, too, so listen to how folks react to having a chat with you.

When talking in a group of a couple of individuals, you may have difficulty keeping track of things. You are missing bits of what everybody says, thus you are not connecting the dots anymore. You can not ask everyone talking to repeat themselves, either, so you only get lost. Over time, you dodge group discussions or stand there not understanding what’s said, since it’s just too confusing once you do.

The Background Noise Takes Over

If all you hear these days is background noise, then it’s time for a hearing exam. This is a frequent symptom of hearing loss because you are no longer able to filter out sounds just 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 sound.

The TV Creeps Up and Upward

It’s easy to blame the need to turn the TV volume up on this tired box because of a busy room, but if it occurs all the time, it’s most likely an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everybody else begins complaining that you’ve got the TV or computer volume up too high, you need to wonder why that is, and, probably, conclude that your hearing is not as good as it had been at one time.

You Find Yourself Seeing Their Mouth

Reading lips is a compensation technique for missing words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the reduction of tough sounds. Words that contain certain letters will probably be incomplete. Your brain might automatically shift your attention into the person’s lips to repair the problem. Chances are you don’t even know you do it until somebody tells you or suddenly looks uncomfortable when talking with you.

The Ever-Present Buzz

You may hear a clicking, ringing, or buzzing or the sound of the breeze in your ears — medically that is called tinnitus, and it is an indication of a significant hearing loss. These sounds are not real, but phantom noises that only you hear. For some people, they are only annoying, but for many others tinnitus is debilitating. If you’ve got it, then you surely have hearing loss you will need to address.

Hearing problems are not always evident to the person suffering from them, but it is to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing loss. Consider, also, other medical issues that can contribute to this problem such as high blood pressure or medication you take that could harm your ears and discover if age-related hearing loss runs in your family.

It is really like assembling the puzzle pieces. If you do come to this decision, see your health care provider and receive a professional hearing test for affirmation. Hearing loss isn’t the end of the world, but for most, it does imply it’s time to think about hearing aids.

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