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

It might seem like it would be evident, but hearing loss tends to be gradual, so how can one know they have it? There is no sharp pain to serve as a warning sign. You don’t collapse or make additional trips to the restroom when it occurs, either. It is safe to say the symptoms of hearing loss are more subtle than other autoimmune disorders like diabetes or heart disease.

Even so, there are indicators if 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 in your life. Consider some ways you can identify hearing loss for you or somebody you care about.

Your Conversation Changes

The impact on socialization offers a number of the most telling indications. As an example, if the first thing from your mouth through most conversations is “what?” That shows you are not understanding words easily. Asking the people that you speak to repeat what they said is something they’re very likely to detect before you do, too, so pay attention to how folks react to having discussions with you.

When speaking to a group of two or more people, you might have difficulty following along. You’re missing parts of what everybody says, thus you are not connecting the dots anymore. You can’t ask everybody speaking to echo themselves, either, so you only get lost. Over time, you avoid group discussions or stand there not understanding what’s said, because it’s just too confusing when you do.

The Little Everyday Sounds Takes Over

If the only thing you hear nowadays is background noise, then it’s time to get a hearing test. This is a frequent symptom of hearing loss since you’re no longer able to filter out sounds just like a fan blowing off or an air conditioner running. It gets to the point where you can not hear what people are saying for you because it becomes lost in the background noise.

The TV Volume Creeps Up and Upward

It is simple to excuse the need to turn the TV volume up on that tired set because of a busy room, but if it occurs all the time, it’s most likely an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everybody else begins complaining that you’ve got the TV or computer volume too loud, you should wonder why this really is, and, probably, conclude that your hearing isn’t like it was once.

You End up Seeing Their Mouth

Lip reading is a compensation mechanism for missing words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the loss of tough sounds. Words that contain specific letters will probably be incomplete. Your brain might automatically shift your attention to the individual’s lips to repair the issue. Chances are you don’t even understand you do it before someone tells you or suddenly seems uncomfortable when speaking with you.

A Buzz That Doesn’t Stop

The constant clicking or buzzing or the sound of wind in your ears — medically this is called tinnitus, and it’s a warning of significant hearing loss. These sounds aren’t real, but phantom noises that only you hear. For some people, they are just bothersome, but for others tinnitus is painful. If you have it, then you certainly have hearing loss you need to address.

Hearing problems aren’t always obvious to the person experiencing them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing. Consider, too, other medical problems that can contribute to this problem such as high blood pressure or medication you take that could harm your ears and discover if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem for you.

It is like putting pieces of a puzzle together. If you do come to this decision, see your doctor and get a professional hearing test for confirmation. Hearing loss is not the end of the world, but for most, it does mean it is time to think about hearing aids.

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