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

It might seem like it would be evident, but hearing loss can be gradual, so how can one know if they have it? There’s no darting pain to function as a danger sign. You don’t lose consciousness or make additional trips to the bathroom once it happens, either. It’s safe to say the signs of hearing loss are somewhat more subtle than other autoimmune disorders like diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Nevertheless, there are indications should you know to look for them. It’s a matter of paying attention to the way you hear and the effect any change could be having in your life. Consider some ways you can identify hearing loss for you or someone you love.

A Shift in Communication

The effect on socialization offers a number of the most telling signs. For instance, if the first word from your mouth through most discussions is “what?” That should be a sign you are not comprehending words well. Questioning people that you speak to repeat what they said is something they’re very likely to notice before you do, too, so pay attention to the way people respond to having a chat with you.

When speaking to a group of a couple of people, you might have trouble following along. You are missing parts of what each person says, thus you aren’t connecting the dots anymore. You can’t ask everybody speaking to repeat themselves, either, so you only get lost. Over time, you dodge group discussions or stand there not listening to what’s stated, because it is just too confusing when you do.

Background Sound Drowns Out All Else

If the only thing you hear these days is background sound, then it’s time for a hearing test. This is a frequent symptom of hearing loss since you are no longer able to filter out sounds like a fan blowing off or an air conditioner operating. It gets to the point at which you can’t hear what folks are saying to you because it becomes lost in the background sound.

The TV Goes Up and Up and Up

It is easy to blame the need to flip the TV volume up on this tired set because of a busy area, but if it happens all the time, it is most likely an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everyone else begins complaining that you have the TV or computer volume up too high, you should wonder why this really is, and, probably, come to terms with the fact that your hearing is not like it was at one time.

You Find Yourself Seeing Their Mouth

Reading lips is a compensation technique for missed words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the loss of hard sounds. Words that contain certain letters will probably be incomplete. Your brain might automatically refocus your eyes on the person’s lips to fix the problem. It is likely that you don’t even understand you do it until someone tells you or unexpectedly seems uncomfortable when talking to you.

Then There’s the Clicking

It can be a ringing, clicking or buzzing or the sound of the breeze in your ears — this is called tinnitus, and it is an indication of a significant hearing loss. These sounds aren’t real, but phantom noises that only you hear. For some folks, they are just bothersome, but for many others tinnitus is debilitating. If you’ve got it, then you most certainly have hearing loss that you will need to handle.

Hearing problems aren’t always evident to the individual experiencing them, but it is to others. Listen to what your family is telling you about your hearing loss. Consider, also, other medical problems that can give rise 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.

When you do come to this conclusion, see your doctor and receive a professional hearing test for confirmation. Hearing loss isn’t the worst health issue you could have, but for many, it does imply it’s time to think about hearing aids.

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