Audio Life Hearing Center- Knoxville, TN

Unhappy girl suffering from hearing loss with glass of drink expressing sadness and loneliness while her friends having fun and enjoying a festive BBQ dinner in the background

Your hearing won’t be just gone one day when you wake up. Hearing loss, particularly when it’s caused by aging, typically advances in degrees. You might not recognize it’s happening right away but some indicators do show up earlier.

The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Recognizing them sooner is essential to delay the development of hearing loss or other health issues associated with aging. But if you don’t know what the early symptoms are, you won’t be able to recognize if you have them. You may be developing hearing loss if you notice any of the following eight barely noticeable signs.

1. You hear some people perfectly fine but not others

Maybe when you talk to your brother, you can hear him fine, but when your wife talks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a typical sign of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that deliver electrical messages to the brain.

Her voice is less clear to you because the pitch is higher. You might not be able to hear your daughter or grandchild very well for the same reason. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those are also high pitched tones.

2. You don’t like to talk on the phone

When the phone rings you often make excuses for not answering:

  • I’m simply not used to this new phone yet
  • I get a lot of spam calls – that’s probably what it is

Contemplate why you dread using your phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t understand what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. If they are able to hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are likely the issue.

3. Why is everyone mumbling?

It seems like it’s no longer only the kids who are mumbling when they speak, it’s your neighbor, the news lady, your partner, and even your bartender. If it seems like everyone in your life is mumbling, you’re most likely dealing with hearing loss, because what is the probability of that? How you hear words is changing. One of the first signs that something is going on with your hearing is when it sounds like people are mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” are dropping off.

4. You’re saying “what?” a lot

You may not even realize that you’re unable to hear conversations anymore until somebody points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Frequently the people you see on a daily basis like coworkers or family are the first to observe you are struggling to hear. You should definitely pay attention if someone says something.

5. Why do I hear ringing sounds in my ears?

Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something individuals tend to dismiss unless it’s distracting. A prevalent sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, medically called tinnitus.

Tinnitus can also be intermittent because triggers are a significant factor. Maybe, when you first get up in the morning is when you have the most noticeable ringing or buzzing. Or a trauma, circulatory problems, or high blood pressure could be the cause.

It’s important that you don’t ignore these tinnitus symptoms because it’s a sign that something may be wrong, so you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible to get checked out.

6. It isn’t as fun going to the neighborhood block party

Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. It’s so much harder to make out what people are saying in loud places. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re in the presence of something as simple as the AC kicking in or kids splashing and playing in the pool. And trying to focus in on conversations is exhausting.

7. You feel more tired than normal

It’s laborious when you struggle to understand words. Your brain needs to work harder to process what it can hear, so you are more fatigued than usual. You might even experience differences in your other senses. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left over for your eyesight or balance? If your most recent eye exam was good, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.

8. Why is this TV volume so low?

When you have to constantly turn the volume on your TV up, it becomes all too easy to blame your service provider or that out-dated TV. When you’re experiencing hearing loss it’s difficult to hear dialog on your favorite shows. The background music and sound effects are befuddling dialogue, for example. What about the other things in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? If you keep turning up the volume, then your hearing might be failing.

The good thing is, if your hearing is declining, hearing aids can help, you just need to get a hearing test.

If you experience any of the above signs of hearing loss, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

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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.
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