Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

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

You may think it would be obvious, but hearing loss tends to be gradual, so how does someone know if they have it? There’s no shooting pain to function as a warning sign. You don’t lose consciousness or make unnecessary trips to the toilet once it occurs, either. It is safe to say the signs of hearing loss are somewhat more subtle than other age-related illnesses like diabetes or heart disease.

Nevertheless, there are indicators should you know what to look for. It’s a matter of paying attention to the way you hear and the impact any change might be having in your life. Take the time to consider the ways you can identify hearing loss for you or somebody you love.

Social Situations are a Challenge

The effect on socializing offers some of the most telling indications. As an example, if the first word out of your mouth through most discussions is “what?” That should be a sign you are not understanding words easily. Asking the people that you speak to tell you again what they said is something they’re likely to notice before you do, too, so pay attention to the way people react to having conversations with you.

When speaking to a group of a couple of people, you may have trouble following along. You are missing pieces of what everybody says, thus you aren’t part of the conversation. You can’t ask everyone talking to echo themselves, either, so you only get lost. As time passes, you avoid group conversations or stand there not listening to what’s stated, because it is just too confusing once you do.

The Background Noise Drowns Everything Out

If all you hear nowadays is background noise, then it’s time to get a hearing exam. This is a frequent symptom of hearing loss because you’re no longer able to filter out sounds like a fan blowing or an air conditioner operating. It gets to the point at which you can not hear what people are saying for you because it becomes lost in the background noise.

The TV Volume Goes Up

It’s easy to blame the need to flip the TV volume up on this dying box because of a noisy room, but when it occurs every day, it is most likely an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everyone else starts telling you that you’ve got the TV or computer volume too loud, you should wonder why that is, and, likely, come to terms with the fact that your hearing is not as good as it had been at one time.

You End up Watching Their Lips

Reading lips is a compensation technique for missing words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the reduction of tough sounds. Words which contain certain letters will be faulty. Your brain might automatically refocus your eyes on the individual’s lips to repair the issue. Chances are you don’t even understand you do it before someone tells you or unexpectedly looks uncomfortable when speaking with you.

Then There is the Buzzing

It can be a ringing, clicking or buzz 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 noises that only you hear. For many folks, they are only bothersome, but for many others tinnitus is painful. If you have that, then you certainly have hearing loss you will need to handle.

Hearing problems are not always obvious to the individual experiencing them, but it’s to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing. Consider, too, other medical problems that may contribute to this problem like high blood pressure or medication you have been prescribed that can harm your ears and find out if age-related hearing loss is a hereditary problem you should be worried about.

It’s like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. If you do come to that decision, visit your health care provider and get a professional hearing test for affirmation. Hearing loss is not the worst health issue you could have, but for many, it will imply it is time to think about hearing aids.

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