The last time you had dinner with your family was a difficult experience. Not because of any intra-family drama (though there’s always some of that). No, the source of the frustration was simple: it was loud, and you couldn’t hear a thing. So you didn’t get the details about Judy’s promotion, and you didn’t have a chance to ask about Jay’s new puppy. It was frustrating. Mostly, you blame the acoustics. But you can’t totally dismiss the possibility that maybe your hearing is starting to go bad.
It can be incredibly difficult to self-diagnose hearing loss (that’s why, generally, it’s not advisable). But there are some early warning signs you should keep your eye on. When enough of these red flags surface, it’s worth scheduling an appointment to get checked by a hearing professional.
Early Signs of Hearing Loss
Not every sign and symptom of hearing loss is obvious. But you could be dealing with some amount of hearing loss if you find yourself recognizing some of these signs.
Some of the most common early signs of hearing impairment might include:
- High pitched sounds are hard to hear. Maybe you find your teapot has been whistling for five minutes without your knowledge. Or perhaps the doorbell rings, and you never notice it. Distinct frequencies (often high pitched) will typically be the first to go with early hearing loss.
- There’s a ringing in your ears: This ringing, which can also be the sound of screeching, thumping, buzzing, or other noises, is technically called tinnitus. Tinnitus is often an early warning sign of hearing loss, but not always so if you have a ringing in your ears, a hearing test is probably in order.
Next Up: Take a Examination
No matter how many of these early warning signs you may encounter, there’s really only one way to recognize, with certainty, whether your hearing is going bad: get your hearing tested.
Broadly speaking, even one of these early warning signs could be evidence that you’re developing some kind of hearing loss. A hearing test will be able to tell what level of impairment, if any, exists. Then it will become more evident what needs to be done about it.
This will make your next family gathering a lot smoother and more enjoyable.