Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

“Man

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 loud, and you couldn’t hear a thing. So you weren’t able to have very much meaningful conversation with any of your family members. It was irritating. You feel like the room’s acoustics played a big part. But you’re also willing to accept that your hearing may be starting to wane.

It’s not generally advisable to attempt to self diagnose hearing loss because it generally isn’t possible. But there are some early warning signs you should keep on your radar. If some of these warning signs show up, it’s most likely time to have your hearing tested.

Hearing Loss Has Some Early Warning Signs

Not every sign and symptom of hearing loss is obvious. But if you should find your own experiences reflected in any of the items on the following list, you just may be going through some amount of hearing loss.

Here are some of the warning signs of hearing loss:

  • Someone notices that the volume on your media devices gets louder and louder. Perhaps the volume on your phone keeps getting louder and louder. Possibly it’s your TV that’s at full volume. Usually, you’re not the one that notices the loud volume, it’s your children, maybe your neighbor, or your friends.
  • You often need people to repeat what they said. If you find yourself continually asking people to speak up, repeat what they said, or slow down when they speak, this is especially true. You may not even realize you’re making such frequent requests, but it can definitely be an early sign of diminishing hearing.
  • Some words seem harder to hear than others. This warning sign frequently pops up because consonants are beginning to sound similar, or, at least, becoming harder to differentiate. Usually, it’s the sh- and th- sounds that are muffled. It can also commonly be the p- and t- sounds or the s- and f- sounds
  • Phone calls suddenly seem muffled and difficult to comprehend: People do a lot of texting these days, so you may not take as many phone calls as you once did. But if you’re having difficulty comprehending the phone calls you do receive (even with the volume turned all the way up), you may be facing another red flag for your hearing.
  • There’s a ringing in your ears: This ringing, which can also be the sound of screeching, thumping, buzzing, or other noises, is technically known as tinnitus. Tinnitus is frequently an early warning sign of hearing loss, but not always so if you have a ringing in your ears, a hearing test is probably in order.
  • High pitched sounds are hard to hear. Things like a whistling teapot or ringing doorbell sometimes go unnoticed for several minutes or more. Specific frequencies (frequently high pitched) will usually be the first to go with early hearing loss.
  • When you’re in a loud crowded place, conversations often get lost. In the “family dinner” example above, this specific thing happened and it’s certainly an early warning sign.
  • Certain sounds seem so loud that they’re unbearable. It’s one of the more uncommon early warning signs linked to hearing loss, but hyperacusis is common enough that you might find yourself experiencing its symptoms. It can be an early sign of hearing loss if certain sounds seem really loud especially if it lasts for an extended period of time.
  • Next Up: Take a Examination

    You still can’t be certain whether you’re confronting hearing loss even if you are experiencing some of these early warning signs. You will need to get a hearing exam to know for sure.

    You could very well be experiencing some amount of hearing loss even if you’re only noticing one of these early warning signs. A hearing assessment will be able to tell what level of impairment, if any, exists. And then you’ll be better equipped to get the best treatment.

    This will make your next family get together a lot easier and more enjoyable.

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