If I Was Dealing With Hearing Loss, How Could I Tell?

Woman sitting on a grey couch gazing out the window wondering if she has hearing loss.

The last time you ate dinner with family, you were rather aggravated. Not because of any intra-family drama (though there’s always a little bit of that). No, the source of the stress was simple: it was noisy, and you couldn’t hear anything. So you didn’t hear the details about Nancy’s raise, and you didn’t have the ability to ask about Todd’s new puppy. And that was really irritating. For the most part, you blame the acoustics. But you have to admit that it might be a problem with your hearing.

It can be especially challenging to self-diagnose hearing loss (that’s why, generally, it’s not suggested). But there are some early red flags you should watch for. When enough of these warning signs pop up, it’s worth scheduling an appointment to get a hearing test.

Early signs of hearing impairment

Most of the symptoms of hearing loss are subtle. But if you happen to see your own experiences reflected in any of the items on the following list, you just could be experiencing some degree of hearing loss.

Here are some of the most prevalent early signs of hearing loss:

  • Normal sounds seem unbearably loud. You may or may not experience this but if you do, remember that it can be an early warning of hearing loss. If you are having this issue, particularly if it lingers, it’s time for a hearing test.
  • You have a difficult time following conversations in a crowded or noisy place. This is often an early indication of hearing loss.
  • You discover it’s difficult to understand certain words. This symptom takes place when consonants become difficult to hear and differentiate. Normally, it’s the sh- and th- sounds that are muffled. In some cases, it’s the s- and f-sounds or p- and t-sounds that become conflated.
  • Somebody observes that the volume on your media devices is getting louder. Maybe you keep cranking the volume up on your mobile phone. Or maybe, you have your TV volume turned up to max. Normally, you’re not the one that notices the loud volume, it’s your kids, maybe your neighbor, or your friends.
  • You’re suddenly finding it hard to hear when you’re talking on the phone: You might not talk on the phone as often as you once did because you use texting pretty often. But you may be experiencing another early warning sign if you’re having trouble understanding the calls you do take.
  • You keep requesting that people repeat themselves. If you find yourself asking multiple people to talk slower, speak louder, or repeat what they said, this is especially true. You might not even recognize you’re making such frequent requests, but it can definitely be an early sign of diminishing hearing.
  • High-pitched sounds are hard to hear. Maybe you just noticed your teapot was screeching after five minutes. Or perhaps the doorbell rings, and you don’t notice it. Hearing loss usually impacts specific frequencies normally higher pitched frequencies.
  • You hear ringing in your ears: This ringing (it can actually be other sounds too) is called tinnitus. Tinnitus isn’t always linked to hearing issues, but it is frequently an early warning sign of hearing loss, so a hearing assessment is probably in order.

Next up: Take a exam

You may have one or more of these early warnings but the only real way to know the health of your hearing is to get a hearing assessment.

You might be experiencing hearing loss if you are experiencing any one of these symptoms. A hearing assessment will be able to tell what degree of impairment, if any, exists. Once we determine the level of hearing loss, we can figure out the best course of treatment.

This will help you have a much more enjoyable time at that next family get-together.

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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