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

You may think it would be obvious, but hearing loss tends to be slow, so how does one know they have it? There’s no stinging pain to serve as a danger sign. You don’t pass out or make unnecessary trips to the restroom when it occurs, either. It’s safe to say the symptoms of hearing loss are somewhat more subtle than other autoimmune disorders like diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Even so, there are indicators 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 might be having on your life. Consider some ways you’re able to pinpoint hearing loss for you or someone you care about.

A Change in Speech

The impact on socialization provides some of the most telling signals. As an example, if the first word out of your mouth through most conversations is “what?” That should be a sign you are not comprehending words well. Asking the people that you speak to repeat what they said is something they are very likely to notice before you do, too, so listen to the way folks respond to having conversations with you.

When speaking to a group of two or more individuals, you might have trouble following along. You are missing pieces of what everybody says, so you aren’t connecting the dots anymore. You can not ask everyone speaking to echo themselves, either, so you only get lost. As time passes, you hide from group discussions or stand there not listening to what’s stated, because it is just too confusing when you do.

Background Noise is Too Much

If the only thing you hear nowadays is background sound, then it’s time to get a hearing exam. This is a frequent sign of hearing loss because you are not able to filter out sounds like a fan blowing or an air conditioner operating. It gets to the point at which you can not hear what folks are saying to you since it becomes lost in the background noise.

The TV Creeps Up and Up

It is simple to excuse the need to flip the TV volume up on that tired box because of a busy area, but when it occurs all the time, it’s most likely a sign of gradual hearing loss. When everyone else starts telling you that you have the TV or computer volume too loud, you should wonder why this is, and, probably, conclude that your hearing is not like it had been at one time.

You End up Seeing Their Lips

Reading lips is a compensation technique for missing words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the reduction of tough sounds. Words that contain certain letters will probably be incomplete. Your mind might automatically shift your attention to the individual’s lips to repair the problem. It is likely that you won’t even know you do it until someone points it out or unexpectedly acts uncomfortable when talking with you.

Then There is the Buzzing

It can be a ringing, clicking or buzz or the noise of wind in your ears — medically this is called tinnitus, and it is a sign of significant hearing loss. These sounds are not real, but phantom sounds that only you hear. For many folks, they are just annoying, but for many others tinnitus is painful. If you have that, then you surely have hearing loss that you will need to handle.

Hearing problems aren’t always obvious to the person experiencing them, but it is to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing. Consider, too, other medical problems that may give rise to the problem like high blood pressure or medication you have been prescribed that could harm your ears and find out if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem for you.

It is like assembling the pieces of a puzzle. When you do come to that conclusion, see your health care provider and receive a professional hearing test for affirmation. Hearing loss isn’t a catastrophe, but for most, it will mean it’s time to consider
hearing aids.