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Your last family dinner was discouraging. It wasn’t because your family was having a difficult time getting along. No, the source of the difficulty was simple: it was boisterous, and you couldn’t hear a thing. So you didn’t hear the details about Judy’s promotion, and you didn’t have a chance to ask about Todd’s new cat. The whole experience was incredibly aggravating. You feel like the room’s acoustics played a big part. But you can’t totally discount the possibility that maybe your hearing is starting to go bad.

It can be very challenging to self-diagnose hearing loss (that’s why, typically, it’s not recommended). But there are a few early warning signs you should keep your eye on. If some of these warning signs appear, it’s probably time to get your hearing tested.

Hearing Loss Has Some Early Warning Signs

Some of the signs of hearing loss are subtle. But you might be dealing with some amount of hearing loss if you find yourself detecting some of these signs.

Here are a few of the warning signs of hearing loss:

  • You find that certain sounds become unbearably loud. It’s one of the more unusual early warning signs associated with 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.
  • You have problems hearing high-pitched sounds. Things like a ringing doorbell or a whistling teapot sometimes go unnoticed for several minutes or more. Particular frequencies (often high pitched) will typically be the first to fade with early hearing loss.
  • Certain words seem harder to hear than others. When consonants become hard to differentiate this red flag should go up. The th- and sh- sounds are very commonly muffled. Sometimes, it’s the s- and f-sounds or p- and t-sounds that become conflated.
  • You often need people to repeat what they said. If you find yourself repeatedly asking people to speak up, repeat themselves, or slow down when they speak, this is especially true. Often, you might not even acknowledge how frequently this is happening and you may miss this warning sign.
  • When you’re in a noisy crowded place, conversations often get lost. In the “family dinner” illustration above, this exact thing happened and it’s definitely an early warning sign.
  • You experience some ringing in your ears: Ringing in your ears is known as tinnitus (and, actually, tinnitus can be other sounds also: screeching, buzzing, humming, thumping, and so on). Tinnitus is often an early warning sign of hearing loss, but not always so if your ears are ringing, a hearing exam is most likely in order.
  • It’s suddenly very hard to understand phone calls: Today, due to texting, we use the phone a lot less than we once did. But if you have the volume cranked all the way up on your phone and you’re still having difficulty hearing calls, it’s most likely an early warning of hearing loss.
  • Someone notices that the volume on your media devices gets louder and louder. Perhaps you keep turning the volume up on your mobile device. Or perhaps your TV speakers are maxed out. In most cases, you’re not the one that notices the loud volume, it’s your children, maybe your neighbor, or your friends.
  • It’s Time to Get a Hearing Test

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

    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 determined with a hearing evaluation. Then it will become more evident what has to be done about it.

    This will make your next family gathering a lot easier and more fun.

    Call Today to Set Up an Appointment