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.
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.