A man is unable to hear or see and is surrounded by question marks.

You’d think it would be obvious, but hearing loss will be gradual, so how can someone know they have it? There’s no shooting pain to serve as a warning sign. You do not lose consciousness or make unnecessary trips to the bathroom once it occurs, either. It’s safe to say the signs of hearing loss are more subtle than other age-related illnesses like diabetes or heart disease.

Nevertheless, there are indications should you know what you’re looking for. It is a matter of paying attention to the way you hear and the impact any change could be having on your life. Consider the ways you’re able to identify hearing loss for you or someone you love.

A Shift in Speech

The impact on socializing provides some of the most telling signs. As an example, if the first word out of your mouth during most conversations is “what?” That shows you aren’t understanding words well. Questioning people you speak to tell you again what they said is something they are likely to detect before you do, too, so pay attention to how folks respond to having discussions with you.

When speaking to a group of a couple of individuals, you may have trouble following along. You’re missing bits of what each person says, so you are not connecting the dots anymore. You can’t ask everybody speaking to repeat themselves, either, so you just get lost. As time passes, you limit group discussions or stand there not listening to what’s stated, because it’s just too confusing once you do.

The Little Everyday Sounds Takes Over

If all you hear these days is background sound, then it’s time for a hearing exam. This is a frequent sign of hearing loss since you are no longer able to filter out sounds just like a fan blowing off, or an air conditioner operating. It gets to the point where you can not hear what people are saying for you since it becomes lost in the background noise.

The TV Volume Goes Up and Upward

It’s simple to excuse the need to flip the TV volume up on this tired box because of a busy room, but when it happens every day, it is most likely an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everybody else starts telling you that you’ve got the TV or computer volume too loud, you should wonder why this really is, and, probably, come to terms with the fact that your hearing isn’t as good as it had been at one time.

You Find Yourself Watching Their Mouth

Reading lips is a compensation mechanism for missed words. Gradual hearing loss starts with the reduction of tough sounds. Words which contain specific letters will be incomplete. Your mind might automatically shift your eyes to the individual’s lips to repair the issue. Chances are you won’t even understand you do it before someone points it out or unexpectedly acts uncomfortable when speaking with you.

Then There is the Ringing

You may hear a clicking, ringing, or buzzing or the noise of wind in your ears — that is called tinnitus, and it’s a sign of significant hearing loss. These sounds aren’t real, but phantom noises that only you hear. For some folks, they are just bothersome, but for others tinnitus is debilitating. If you’ve got that, then you certainly have hearing loss that you need to handle.

Hearing problems are not always evident to the individual suffering from them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing loss. Consider, too, other medical issues that can contribute to the problem like high blood pressure or medication you take that can harm your ears and find out if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem for you.

It’s like assembling the pieces of a puzzle. If you do come to this conclusion, visit your health care provider and get a professional hearing test for affirmation. Hearing loss isn’t a catastrophe, but for most, it does imply it is time to think about hearing aids.