The last time you had dinner with your family was a hard experience. It wasn’t because your family was having a difficult time getting along. No, the source of the frustration was simple: it was noisy, and you couldn’t hear anything. So you didn’t get the details about Judy’s promotion, and you didn’t have a chance to ask about Todd’s new cat. It was frustrating. You feel like the room’s acoustics played a big part. But you can’t totally dismiss the possibility that maybe your hearing is starting to go bad.
It’s not typically advisable to attempt to self diagnose hearing loss because it generally isn’t possible. But there are a few early warning signs you should keep your eye on. If some of these warning signs surface, it’s probably time to get your hearing examined.
Early Signs of Hearing Loss
Not every sign and symptom of hearing loss is obvious. But you might be dealing with some degree of hearing loss if you find yourself detecting some of these signs.
Here are some of the warning signs of hearing loss:
- Certain words seem harder to hear than others. When consonants become hard 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
- Certain sounds seem so loud that they’re unbearable. This early warning sign is less common, but hyperacusis is common enough that you may find yourself encountering its symptoms. If distinct sounds become intolerably loud (especially if the issue doesn’t resolve itself in short order), that could be an early hearing loss symptom.
- High pitched sounds are difficult to hear. Things like a whistling teapot or ringing doorbell sometimes go undetected for several minutes or more. Early hearing loss is normally most recognizable in specific (and often high-pitched) frequencies of sound.
- Phone calls suddenly seem muffled and hard to understand: People do a lot of texting nowadays, so you may not take as many phone calls as you once did. But if you have the volume turned all the way up on your phone and you’re still having difficulty hearing calls, it’s most likely an early warning of hearing loss.
Next Up: Get a Test
You still can’t be certain whether you’re confronting hearing loss even if you are encountering some of these early warning signs. You will need to get a hearing test to know for sure.
You might very well be experiencing some level of hearing loss even if you’re only experiencing one of these early warning signs. What level of hearing loss you may be dealing with can only be established with a hearing evaluation. Then it will become more clear what has to be done about it.
This means your next family gathering can be a lot more enjoyable.