Audiology Associates of North Florida - Tallahassee, FL

Unhappy girl suffering from hearing loss with glass of drink expressing sadness and loneliness while her friends having fun and enjoying a festive BBQ dinner in the background

It’s not like you just wake up one day, and suddenly can’t hear. Hearing loss, particularly when it’s associated with aging, generally advances in degrees. Some signs appear earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is an issue immediately.

These early developing symptoms progress very discreetly. Early detection is important, but if you don’t know what the early symptoms are you won’t be capable of recognizing them. Contemplate these eight barely detectable signs that you may have hearing loss.

1. You hear some people just fine but not others

Maybe you can understand the cashier perfectly, but when your wife chimes in on the conversation, everything gets muddled. Her voice may have a higher pitch, and that’s why it’s unclear. You may not be capable of hearing your daughter or grandchild very well for the same reason, meanwhile you understand your brother just fine. These are typical indications of sensorineural hearing loss, or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain.

2. You avoid phone calls

When the phone rings you are inclined to make excuses for not answering:

  • It’s a new phone, and I’m simply not used to it yet
  • It’s likely just spam

You dread talking on the phone, but why? It would be a good idea to get someone else to check the phone for you if the volume is at max and you still aren’t able to hear what the other person is saying. You probably have hearing loss if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.

3. Why does everybody mumble these days?

It seems as if it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they talk, it’s your neighbor, the news woman, your spouse, and even your bartender. It’s difficult to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation so this is a strong indication of hearing decline. The way you hear words is changing. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is going through changes.

4. You’re Saying “What?” A Lot

It may not be until someone points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you recognize you are developing hearing loss. Very often the people you see on a daily basis like coworkers or family are the first to notice you are having a hard time hearing. If someone comments on it, you should pay attention.

5. What’s that ringing in my ears?

Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to dismiss unless it’s disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a prevalent symptom of hearing loss.

Tinnitus can also be intermittent because triggers are a significant factor. For instance, maybe the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only manifests in the morning or when you are tired. If you’re noticing tinnitus, you should make an appointment for an exam because it could be an indication you have hearing loss.

6. It isn’t as enjoyable going to the neighborhood block party

It’s no fun when it sounds like that many people are mumbling at the same time. Also, being in loud settings makes understanding what individuals say that much more difficult.

Something as basic as children playing and splashing around in the pool, or the sound of the AC kicking on you makes it impossible to hear anything, and you often feel fatigued or embarrassed from trying to keep up with conversations.

7. You feel more worn out than normal

Struggling to understand words is draining. You feel more tired than normal because your brain has to work harder to try and interpret what it’s trying to hear. You may even notice changes in your other senses. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left over for your eyesight or balance? If your eyes have tested fine, now it’s time to get your ears assessed.

8. Why can’t I hear this Tv?

It’s easy to blame your old TV or TV program when you have to keep turning up the volume. When you have hearing loss it’s hard to hear dialog on your favorite shows. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialog, for example. How about the other stuff in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? If you keep turning up the volume, then your hearing could be failing.

The good news is, hearing aids can help! You simply need to start with a baseline hearing test.

Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for a hearing assessment if you’ve experienced any of the above signs.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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