Audiology Specialty Clinic - Sioux Falls, SD

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

It may seem like it would be evident, but hearing loss will be gradual, so how does one know if they have it? There’s no darting pain to serve as a danger sign. You do not pass out or make extra trips to the restroom once it happens, either. It’s safe to say the symptoms of hearing loss are somewhat more subtle than other autoimmune disorders like diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Nevertheless, there are indications if you know what to look for. It’s a matter of paying attention to the way you hear and the impact any change could be having in your life. Take the time to consider the ways you’re able to pinpoint hearing loss for you or someone you love.

Conversations are a Challenge

The effect on socialization provides a number of the most telling signs. For instance, if the first thing out of your mouth through most conversations is “what?” That shows you aren’t understanding words easily. Asking the people that you speak to tell you again what they said is something they’re likely to notice before you do, too, so pay attention to how folks respond to having a chat with you.

When speaking to a group of a couple of people, you may have trouble following along. You are missing bits of what each person says, thus you are not part of the conversation. You can’t ask everyone speaking to echo themselves, either, so you only get lost. As time passes, you hide from group conversations or stand there not listening to what is said, since it’s just too confusing once you do.

The Background Noise Takes Over

If the only thing 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’re no longer able to filter out sounds just like a fan blowing or an air conditioner running. It gets to the point where you can’t hear what people are saying for you since it becomes lost in the background noise.

The TV Goes Up and Upward

It’s simple to excuse the need to flip the TV volume up on this tired set because of a busy area, but when it happens all the time, it’s most likely a sign of gradual hearing loss. When everybody else starts complaining that you’ve got the TV or computer volume too loud, you should wonder why that is, and, probably, come to terms with the fact that your hearing isn’t like it had been once.

You Find Yourself Seeing 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 probably be incomplete. Your mind might automatically shift your attention to the person’s lips to fix the problem. It is likely that you do not even know you do it before someone tells you or unexpectedly acts uncomfortable when talking with you.

You Notice You Have Tinnitus

You may hear a clicking, ringing, or buzzing or the noise of wind in your ears — medically this is called tinnitus, and it is a sign of significant hearing loss. These sounds aren’t real, but phantom noises that just you hear. For many folks, they are just annoying, but for many others tinnitus is painful. If you’ve got it, then you most surely have hearing loss you will need to address.

Hearing problems are not always obvious to the person suffering from them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing. Consider, too, other medical problems that can give rise to the problem such as hypertension or medication you take that can harm your ears and find out if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem you should be worried about.

When you do come to that decision, visit 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 consider hearing aids.

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