Your last family get together was discouraging. Not because of any intra-family drama (though there’s always some of that). The issue was the noise, which was making it hard to hear anything. So you weren’t able to have very much enjoyable conversation with any members of your family. It was frustrating. For the most part, you blame the acoustics. But you’re also willing to accept that your hearing might be starting to go.
It’s not generally advisable to try to self diagnose hearing loss because it usually isn’t possible. But you should keep your eye out for some early warning signs. When enough of these red flags surface, it’s worth making an appointment to get checked by a hearing professional.
Early Signs of Hearing Loss
Not every sign and symptom of hearing loss is obvious. But if you happen to find yourself noticing any of the items on the following list, you just may be experiencing some level of hearing loss.
Here are some of the warning signs of hearing loss:
- You notice it’s hard to comprehend particular words. When consonants become difficult to differentiate this red flag should go up. Normally, it’s the sh- and th- sounds that are muffled. Sometimes, it’s the s- and f-sounds or p- and t-sounds that become conflated.
- You keep needing people to repeat themselves. This is particularly true if you’re asking several people to slow down, repeat what they said, or talk louder. Often, you may not even acknowledge how frequently this is occurring and you might miss this warning sign.
- You have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds. Perhaps you find your teapot has been whistling for five minutes and you didn’t hear it. Or maybe the doorbell rings, and you never notice it. Early hearing loss is typically most recognizable in particular (and frequently high-pitched) frequencies of sound.
Next Up: Get a Exam
Regardless of how many of these early warning signs you may encounter, there’s really only one way to recognize, with confidence, whether your hearing is fading: get a hearing test.
You could very well be experiencing some amount of hearing loss even if you’re only noticing one of these early warning signs. What level of hearing impairment you may be dealing with can only be established with a hearing evaluation. And then you’ll be better prepared to find the right treatment.
This means your next family get together can be much more enjoyable.