Man with hearing loss trying to hear at the dinner table with his family.

Your last family get together was frustrating. Not because of any intra-family drama (though there’s always some of that). No, the source of the difficulty was simple: it was noisy, and you couldn’t hear a thing. So you didn’t get the details about Nancy’s promotion, and you didn’t have a chance to ask about Jay’s new puppy. The whole experience was incredibly aggravating. For the most part, you blame the acoustics. But you can’t completely discount the possibility that maybe your hearing is starting to go bad.

It isn’t typically recommended to try to self diagnose hearing loss because it generally isn’t possible. But you should keep your eye out for some early warning signs. When enough of these red flags emerge, it’s worth making an appointment to get checked by a hearing professional.

Early Signs of Hearing Loss

Several of the signs of hearing loss are subtle. But you might be dealing with some degree of hearing loss if you find yourself detecting some of these signs.

Here are a few of the warning signs of hearing loss:

  • High pitched sounds are hard to hear. Things like a whistling teapot or ringing doorbell frequently go undetected for several minutes or more. Early hearing loss is normally most apparent in particular (and frequently high-pitched) frequencies of sound.
  • There’s a ringing in your ears: This ringing, which can also be the sound of thumping, screeching, buzzing, or other sounds, is technically known as tinnitus. Tinnitus is often an early warning sign of hearing loss, but not always so if your ears are ringing, a hearing exam is probably in order.
  • It’s suddenly very difficult to comprehend phone calls: People do a lot of texting nowadays, so you might not take as many phone calls as you used to. But if you’re having problems understanding the phone calls you do receive (even with the volume turned all the way up), you may be dealing with another red flag for your hearing.
  • Certain sounds seem so loud that they’re intolerable. This early warning sign is less prevalent, but hyperacusis is common enough that you might find yourself encountering its symptoms. If distinct sounds become unbearably loud (especially if the issue doesn’t resolve itself in short order), that could be an early hearing loss symptom.
  • You often need people to repeat what they said. This is especially true if you’re asking multiple people to slow down, say something again, or talk louder. You may not even notice you’re making such frequent requests, but it can certainly be an early sign of diminishing hearing.
  • You find it’s difficult to understand particular words. When consonants become difficult to differentiate this red flag should go up. The th- and sh- sounds are very commonly muffled. It can also often be the p- and t- sounds or the s- and f- sounds
  • Someone makes you realize that you keep turning the volume up. Maybe you keep turning up the volume on your mobile device. Or maybe your TV speakers are as loud as they will go. In most cases, you’re not the one that observes the loud volume, it’s your children, maybe your neighbor, or your friends.
  • You have a difficult time following interactions in a noisy or crowded place. This is exactly what occurred during the “family dinner” illustration above, and it’s often an early sign of hearing problems.
  • It’s Time to Get a Hearing Test

    Regardless of how many of these early warning signs you may encounter, there’s really only one way to recognize, with confidence, whether your hearing is going bad: get a hearing test.

    You could very well be experiencing some amount of hearing loss even if you’re only experiencing one of these early warning signs. What level of hearing impairment you may be dealing with can only be determined with a hearing assessment. Then it will become more clear what needs to be done about it.

    This will make your next family gathering a lot easier and more enjoyable.

    Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

    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.