HEARING TIPS

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The last time you had dinner with your family was a hard experience. It wasn’t because your family was having a hard time getting along. The issue was the noise, which was making it difficult to hear anything. So you weren’t able to have very much meaningful conversation with any of your family members. 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 can be incredibly difficult to self-diagnose hearing loss (that’s why, generally, it’s not recommended). But you should pay attention to some early warning signs. When enough of these red flags surface, it’s worth scheduling an appointment to get tested by a hearing specialist.

Hearing Loss Has Some Early Warning Signs

Not every sign and symptom of hearing loss is obvious. But if you happen to find your own experiences reflected in any of the items on the following list, you just might be going through some degree of hearing loss.

Some of the most prevalent early signs of bad hearing may include:

  • You hear some that your ears are ringing: Ringing in your ears is known as tinnitus (and, actually, tinnitus can be other sounds also: screeching, buzzing, humming, thumping, and so on). Tinnitus isn’t necessarily associated with hearing issues, but it is frequently an early warning sign of hearing loss, so a hearing exam is most likely in order.
  • You find that certain sounds become unbearably loud. This early warning sign is less prevalent, but hyperacusis is common enough that you may 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. Perhaps you find your tea kettle has been whistling for five minutes and you didn’t hear it. Or maybe the doorbell rings, and you never detect it. Particular frequencies (often high pitched) will typically be the first to go with early hearing loss.
  • Phone calls suddenly seem muffled and hard to understand: People do a lot of texting nowadays, so you may not take as many phone calls as you once did. But if you have the volume cranked all the way up on your phone and you’re still having trouble hearing calls, it’s most likely an early warning of hearing loss.
  • You find it’s difficult to understand certain words. When consonants become hard to differentiate this red flag should go up. The th- and sh- sounds are very commonly muffled. It can also commonly be the p- and t- sounds or the s- and f- sounds
  • Someone makes you realize that you keep turning the volume up. Maybe the volume on your phone keeps getting louder and louder. Or maybe your TV speakers are as loud as they will go. Typically, it’s a friend, neighbor, or a member of your family that makes you recognize the increasing volumes.
  • You frequently need people to repeat what they said. If you find yourself repeatedly asking people to talk louder, repeat themselves, or slow down when they talk, this is especially true. Often, you may not even acknowledge how frequently this is happening and you may miss this red flag.
  • You have a tough time hearing conversations in a noisy or crowded place. This is precisely what occurred during the “family dinner” illustration above, and it’s often an early sign of hearing problems.
  • It’s Time to Get a Hearing Examination

    You still can’t be certain whether you’re confronting hearing loss even if you are experiencing some of these early warning signs. You will need to get a hearing exam to know for sure.

    You could very well be going through some amount of hearing loss even if you’re only noticing one of these early warning signs. A hearing examination will be able to tell what level of impairment, if any, exists. Then it will become more obvious what has to be done about it.

    This will make your next family get together a lot smoother and more enjoyable.

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