How Do I Know Whether I Have Hearing Loss?

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

You may think it’d be evident, but hearing loss will be slow, so how can someone know if they have it? There’s no sharp pain to function as a warning sign. You do not pass out or make a few more trips to the restroom when it happens, either. It is 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 to look for. It’s a matter of paying attention to the way you hear and the impact any change could be having in your life. Consider some ways you’re able to pinpoint hearing loss for you or somebody you love.

A Shift in Conversation

The effect on socialization offers some of the most telling signs. As an example, if the first thing out of your mouth through most discussions is “what?” That shows you aren’t understanding words well. Questioning people that you speak to tell you again what they said is something they’re likely to notice before you do, too, so listen to the way folks respond to having conversations with you.

When talking in a group of a couple of individuals, you may have difficulty following along. You are missing pieces of what everyone says, so you are not part of the conversation. You can’t ask everyone speaking to echo themselves, either, so you just get lost. As time passes, you dodge group conversations or stand there not listening to what’s stated, because it’s just too confusing once you do.

The Background Noise Drowns Everything Out

If all you hear nowadays is background noise, then it’s time for a hearing test. This is a frequent symptom of hearing loss since you’re no longer able to filter out sounds like a fan blowing off or an air conditioner operating. It gets to the point where you can not hear what folks are saying to you since it becomes lost in the background sound.

The TV Creeps Up and Up and Up

It is easy to blame the need to turn the TV volume up on that tired set because of a noisy area, but if it occurs every day, it’s probably a sign of gradual hearing loss. When everyone else starts complaining that you have the TV or computer volume up too high, you need to wonder why this really is, and, likely, conclude that your hearing isn’t like it had been at one time.

You End up Seeing Their Lips

Lip reading is a compensation mechanism for missing words. Gradual hearing loss starts with the loss of tough sounds. Words that contain certain letters will probably be incomplete. Your brain might automatically shift your attention to the person’s lips to fix the problem. It is likely that you do not even understand you do it before somebody points it out or unexpectedly looks uncomfortable when talking with you.

Then There’s the Clicking

The constant clicking or buzzing or the sound of wind in your ears — medically this is called tinnitus, and it’s a warning of significant hearing loss. These sounds are not real, but phantom sounds that only you hear. For some people, they are only annoying, but for others tinnitus is debilitating. If you have it, then you most certainly have hearing loss that you will need to handle.

Hearing problems are not always obvious to the individual experiencing them, but it is to others. Listen to what your loved ones are telling you about your hearing. Consider, also, other medical problems that can give rise to the problem such as high blood pressure or medication you have been prescribed that can harm your ears and discover if age-related hearing loss runs in your family.

It’s really like assembling the pieces of a puzzle. When you do come to this conclusion, visit your doctor and get a professional hearing test for confirmation. Hearing loss isn’t the end of the world, but for many, it will imply it is time to think about hearing aids.

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.