Your last family dinner was frustrating. Not because of any family drama (though there’s always some of that). No, the source of the frustration was simple: it was boisterous, and you couldn’t hear anything. So you didn’t get the details about Judy’s promotion, and you didn’t have an opportunity to ask about Todd’s new cat. The whole experience was incredibly aggravating. For the most part, you blame the acoustics. But you’re also willing to accept that your hearing could be starting to go.
It isn’t typically advisable to attempt to self diagnose hearing loss because it usually isn’t possible. But you should pay attention to some early warning signs. When enough of these red flags spring up, it’s worth making an appointment to get tested by a hearing specialist.
Hearing Loss Has Some Early Warning Signs
Not every sign and symptom of hearing loss is evident. But if you happen to find your own experiences reflected in any of the items on the following list, you just might be dealing with some degree of hearing loss.
Some of the most prevalent early signs of bad hearing may include:
- When you’re in a noisy crowded place, conversations tend to get lost. This is precisely what occurred during the “family dinner” example above, and it’s often an early sign of trouble with hearing.
- You keep asking people to repeat themselves. This is particularly true if you’re asking multiple people to slow down, say something again, or talk louder. Sometimes, you might not even notice how often this is occurring and you might miss this red flag.
- High pitched sounds are hard to hear. Things like a ringing doorbell or a whistling teapot frequently go undetected for several minutes or more. Early hearing loss is normally most recognizable in specific (and frequently high-pitched) frequencies of sound.
- You notice it’s hard to understand certain words. When consonants become hard to differentiate this red flag should go up. Usually, it’s the sh- and th- sounds that are muffled. It can also often be the p- and t- sounds or the s- and f- sounds
- There’s a ringing in your ears: This ringing, which can also be the sound of thumping, screeching, buzzing, or other noises, is technically named tinnitus. Tinnitus isn’t always associated with hearing problems, but it is often an early warning sign of hearing loss, so a hearing test is most likely in order.
Next Up: Get a Examination
You still can’t be certain whether you’re confronting hearing loss even if you are encountering some of these early warning signs. You will need to get a hearing examination to know for sure.
You may very well be going through some level of hearing loss even if you’re only noticing one of these early warning signs. What level of hearing impairment you may be dealing with can only be established with a hearing examination. And then you’ll be better equipped to get the best treatment.
This will make your next family get together a lot easier and more enjoyable.