How Can I Know Whether I Have Hearing Loss?

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

It might seem like it would be obvious, but hearing loss can be slow, so how can someone know if they have it? There is no darting pain to serve as a danger sign. You don’t lose consciousness or make a few more trips to the restroom when it happens, either. It is safe to say the symptoms of hearing loss are somewhat more subtle than other age-related illnesses like diabetes or heart disease.

Nevertheless, there are indicators if you know what you’re looking for. It’s a matter of paying attention to the way you hear and the impact any change could be having in your life. Take the time to consider the ways you’re able to pinpoint hearing loss for you or someone you care about.

A Change in Speech

The impact on socialization provides a number of the most telling indications. For instance, if the first thing out of your mouth through most conversations is “what?” That shows you aren’t understanding words well. Questioning people that you talk to tell you again what they said is something they are very likely to detect before you do, too, so pay attention to the way folks react to having conversations with you.

When talking in a group of a couple of people, you may have difficulty keeping track of things. You are missing pieces of what each person says, thus you aren’t connecting the dots anymore. You can’t ask everybody speaking to echo themselves, either, so you only get lost. Over time, you dodge group conversations or stand there not listening to what’s said, since it is just too confusing when you do.

The Background Noise Takes Over

If all you hear these days is background noise, then it’s time to get a hearing test. This is a common symptom 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 people are saying for you since it becomes lost in the background sound.

The TV Goes Up and Doesn’t Stop

It’s easy to blame the need to turn the TV volume up on that dying set because of a noisy room, but when it occurs every day, it is probably a sign of gradual hearing loss. When everyone else starts telling you that you have the TV or computer volume up too high, you should wonder why this really is, and, likely, conclude that your hearing isn’t as good as it was at one time.

You Find Yourself Watching Their Mouth

Reading lips is a coping mechanism for missed words. Gradual hearing loss starts with the loss of tough sounds. Words which contain certain letters will probably be faulty. Your mind might automatically shift your attention to the person’s lips to fix the problem. It is likely that you don’t even know you do it before somebody points it out or unexpectedly seems uncomfortable when speaking with you.

Then There is the Clicking

The constant clicking or buzzing or the sound of breeze in your ears — medically that is called tinnitus, and it is a sign of significant hearing loss. These sounds aren’t real, but phantom noises that only you hear. For some people, they are only bothersome, but for others tinnitus is debilitating. If you have that, then you certainly have hearing loss you need to handle.

Hearing problems are not always evident to the individual experiencing them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your loved ones are telling you about your hearing. Consider, also, other medical issues that may contribute to this problem like high blood pressure or medication you have been prescribed that can damage your ears and find out if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem for you.

When you do come to that conclusion, visit your health care provider and get a professional hearing test for confirmation. Hearing loss is not a catastrophe, but for most, it does mean it is time to consider hearing aids.

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