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 had dinner with family, you were rather aggravated. It wasn’t because of family crisis (this time). No, the problem was that you couldn’t hear anything over the boisterous noise of the room. So you didn’t hear the details about Nancy’s promotion, and you didn’t have the ability to ask about Todd’s new dog. And that was really irritating. For the most part, you blame the acoustics. But you can’t completely discount the idea that maybe your hearing is starting to go bad.

It’s not usually suggested to self diagnose hearing loss because it’s truly difficult to do. But you should watch for certain warning signs. When enough red flags appear, it’s time to contact us for a hearing assessment.

Early signs of hearing loss

The majority of the symptoms of hearing loss are subtle. But if you happen to see your own situation reflected in any of the items on this list, you just might be experiencing some level of hearing loss.

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

  • Normal sounds seem oppressively 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 experiencing this problem, particularly if it lingers, it’s time for a hearing exam.
  • You have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds. Perhaps you just realized your teapot was whistling after five minutes. Or maybe, you never even hear the doorbell ringing. Hearing loss generally affects specific frequencies normally higher pitched frequencies.
  • You’re suddenly finding it hard to hear when you’re talking on the phone: Texting is popular these days, so you might not take as many phone calls as you used to. But if you’re having difficulty understanding the phone calls you do get (even with the volume turned all the way up), you might be confronting another red flag for your hearing.
  • Someone notices that the volume on your media devices is getting louder. Perhaps the volume on your mobile phone keeps getting louder and louder. Or maybe, you have your TV volume cranked up to max. Usually, you’re not the one that observes the loud volume, it’s your kids, possibly your neighbor, or your friends.
  • You hear ringing in your ears: This ringing (it can actually be other noises too) is known as tinnitus. If you have ringing or other chronic noises in your ears, a hearing exam is your best bet because tinnitus, though it’s often an early warning of hearing loss, can also indicate other health issues.
  • You discover it’s difficult to understand particular words. This symptom happens when consonants become difficult to hear and distinguish. The “sh” and “th” sounds are the most common examples. Sometimes, it’s the s- and f-sounds or p- and t-sounds that become conflated.
  • You have a difficult time following conversations in a busy or noisy place. This is exactly what happened during the “family dinner” example above, and it’s frequently an early signal of trouble with hearing.
  • You keep requesting that people repeat themselves. If you find yourself asking multiple people to speak slower, talk louder, or repeat what they said, this is particularly true. This early sign of hearing impairment may be happening without you even noticing.

Get a hearing exam

No matter how many of these early red flags you might experience, there’s really only one way to know, with confidence, whether your hearing is diminishing: get a hearing exam.

Generally speaking, any single one of these early warning signs could be evidence that you’re developing some type of hearing impairment. And if any impairment you may have, a hearing assessment will be able to identify how bad it is. And then you’ll be better equipped to determine the correct treatment.

This will help you have a much more enjoyable time at that next family gathering.

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.

Questions? Talk To Us.