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McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

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

You may think it’d be evident, but hearing loss tends to be slow, so how can someone know if they have it? There is no stinging pain to function as a warning sign. You don’t lose consciousness or make a few more trips to the bathroom once 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 if you know what you’re looking for. It is a matter of paying attention to how you hear and the impact any change could be having on your life. Consider some ways you’re able to pinpoint hearing loss for you or someone you love.

A Shift in Conversation

The impact on socializing offers a number of the most telling indications. As an example, if the first word from your mouth through most conversations is “what?” That should be a sign you are not comprehending words well. Asking the people that you talk to repeat what they said is something they’re very likely to detect before you do, too, so pay attention to how people respond to having discussions with you.

When talking in a group of two or more individuals, you might have trouble keeping track of things. You’re missing bits of what everyone says, thus you aren’t part of the conversation. You can’t ask everyone speaking to repeat themselves, either, so you just get lost. Over time, you hide from group conversations or stand there not listening to what’s said, because it is just too confusing when you do.

The Background Noise Takes Over

If all you hear these days is background noise, then it is 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’t hear what folks are saying to you since it becomes lost in the background noise.

The TV Creeps Up and Up

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

You Find Yourself Seeing Their Mouth

Reading lips is a coping skill for missed words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the loss of hard sounds. Words that contain specific letters will 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 somebody points it out or unexpectedly acts uncomfortable when talking to you.

You Hear White Noise

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

Hearing problems aren’t always evident to the person experiencing them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing. Consider, also, other medical problems that can contribute to the problem such as hypertension or medication you take that could damage your ears and find out if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem you should be worried about.

When you do come to this conclusion, visit your doctor and receive a professional hearing test for affirmation. Hearing loss isn’t the worst health issue you could have, but for many, it will imply it is time to consider hearing aids.