The interesting thing – and one of the biggest issues – about hearing loss is that it happens slowly. Hearing loss is a gradual change, and this is why many people won’t even notice it is happening, at least not at first. However, since hearing loss can negatively affect your health and happiness, once you do notice that you might be experiencing hearing loss, it’s crucial you seek out expert advice and assistance as soon as you can.
Of course, understanding that hearing loss can begin in very subtle ways is key to getting help as soon as possible. The earlier you can speak to a hearing instrument specialist, the earlier you can minimize the effects of hearing loss on your everyday life. With that in mind, here are eight of the subtle signs you should be looking for if you think your hearing might be failing. When you know what they are, you can get help much sooner.
Ringing In Your Ears
Ringing in the ears might not be considered subtle for some, but there are different levels of this issue, from very mild to severe, so for some of those who experience ringing in the ears, it might not even be noticeable right at the start. Either way, ringing in the ears is something most people ignore unless it’s obnoxious. Tinnitus is the medical term for this ringing, which is a common symptom of hearing loss.
Tinnitus is exacerbated by triggers, so it can be sporadic. For example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring occurs only when you first wake up or when you are tired. Tinnitus is a warning sign that something is wrong with your body and should never be ignored. It could be hearing loss, but it could also be a sign of hypertension, circulatory problems or trauma. If you want to be certain, you should consult your doctor, and if you know it’s related to hearing loss, you could go straight to a hearing instrument specialist (HIS).
Your Balance Is Off
Are you less confident in your own balance than you used to be? The inner ear is vital for both hearing and stability; the source of a balance issue may also be hurting your hearing.
You Choose to Be Alone
Do you occasionally choose not to participate in social situations? It might be challenging to confess that you have hearing loss, which can cause social anxiety. It’s often easier to cease socializing entirely to avoid any embarrassing situations.
You Can Hear Some People, But Not All People
Have you started to notice that you can understand what some people are saying to you without any issues, but it’s much harder when others talk – perhaps you have to strain to hear or cup your hand behind your ear? Maybe you need to ask them to repeat themselves or speak up. This is a frequent symptom of hearing loss.
People with higher tones to their voices, such as women and children, will be harder to understand than those with lower tones. Remember also that sounds like a microwave and doorbell are higher-pitched; can you hear those as well as you once did?
You Gradually Turn Up the Volume
You might not be able to hear it very well, so you gradually turn the volume up bit by bit, but when you have friends or relatives over and they ask you to turn things down or have to shout to be heard, then it’s likely your hearing is the issue and not the TV or radio itself.
You’re Feeling Extra Tired
Are you feeling a lot more tired than usual? This is because it is exhausting to try to grasp what others are saying when you are experiencing hearing loss. Because your brain needs to work extra hard to comprehend what it does hear, you will be more tired than usual. On top of this, you might notice changes in your other senses as well. Whatever brainpower is left for your vision or balance after your brain devotes all of its time and energy to understanding words won’t be a lot.
You’re Leaning More
Do you often lean into conversations? Getting closer might be a terrific method to improve your hearing, but it can also make others feel uneasy. You might not even notice what you’re doing, so now is the time to pay attention; if you find you’re leaning more, it’s wise to have your hearing checked.
You Avoid Using the Phone
Do you hate using the phone? This is something that many people have a problem with these days, and often it can come down to social anxiety or a similar condition. However, it might also have something to do with your hearing. Consider the reasons why you dread using the phone. If you’ve turned up the volume and still can’t hear, get a friend to test it for you. If they can hear the dialogue but you can’t, it’s because your ears aren’t working properly.
If any of the above signs are making themselves known in your life – or there are any other concerns regarding your hearing – please don’t hesitate to contact Galco Hearing Aid Service at (281) 245-0520 (Seabrook office), or at (409) 539-3647 (Galveston office).