Woman sitting on a grey couch gazing out the window wondering if she has hearing loss.

The last time you ate dinner with family, you were pretty aggravated. It wasn’t because of family crisis (this time). No, the problem was that you couldn’t hear a thing over the boisterous noise of the room. So you didn’t get the opportunity to ask about Dave’s new kitten or Sally’s new job. And that was really annoying. You try to play it off as if the acoustics of the room are the problem. But you have to admit that it might be a problem with your hearing.

It’s not usually suggested to self diagnose hearing loss because it’s truly challenging to do. But you should watch for certain warnings. When enough red flags appear, it’s time to make an appointment with us for a hearing exam.

Early signs of hearing impairment

The majority of the symptoms of hearing loss are subtle. But you could be dealing with hearing loss if you can connect with any of the items on this list.

Here are some of the most prevalent early signs of hearing loss:

  • Normal sounds seem unbearably loud. It’s one of the more uncommon early warning signs linked to hearing loss, but hyperacusis is common enough that you might find yourself encountering its symptoms. If you are experiencing this issue, particularly if it lingers, it’s time for a hearing exam.
  • You often need people to repeat what they said. If you find yourself asking numerous people to talk slower, speak louder, or repeat what they said, this is particularly true. This early sign of hearing loss could be occurring without you even noticing.
  • You hear ringing in your ears: This ringing (it can actually be other noises too) is called tinnitus. Tinnitus isn’t always related to hearing problems, but it is often an early warning sign of hearing loss, so a hearing test is probably in order.
  • You discover it’s hard to understand certain words. This red flag frequently shows up because consonants are starting to sound alike, or at least, becoming harder to differentiate. Usually, it’s the sh- and th- sounds that are garbled. But another common example is when the “s” and “f” sounds get mixed up.
  • You have difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds. Maybe you find your tea kettle has been screeching for five minutes but you didn’t notice it. Or perhaps the doorbell rings, and you don’t notice it. Early hearing loss is normally most apparent in specific (and often high-pitched) frequencies of sound.
  • You have a hard time following conversations in a crowded or noisy location. This is often an early sign of hearing loss.
  • You’re suddenly finding it hard to hear when you’re talking on the phone: 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 trouble understanding the phone calls you do receive (even with the volume turned all the way up), you may be experiencing another red flag for your hearing.
  • Someone observes that the volume on your media devices gets louder and louder. Perhaps you keep turning up the volume on your cell phone. Or maybe, you have your TV volume turned up to max. Usually, you’re not the one that observes the loud volume, it’s your kids, possibly your neighbor, or your friends.

Next up: Take a exam

No matter how many of these early warning signs you might encounter, there’s really only one way to know, with confidence, whether your hearing is going bad: get a hearing test.

Generally speaking, any single one of these early warning signs could indicate that you’re developing some kind of hearing impairment. And if any impairment exists, a hearing examination will be able to identify how far gone it is. Once we identify the level of hearing loss, we can determine the best course of treatment.

This means your next family gathering can be much more enjoyable.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.