If I Was Suffering From Hearing Loss, How Could I Tell?

Woman sitting on a grey couch gazing out the window wondering if she has hearing loss.

Your last family dinner was frustrating. Not because of any intra-family drama (though there’s always some of that). No, the problem was that you couldn’t hear anything over the boisterous noise of the room. So you didn’t get the chance to ask about Dave’s new cat or Sally’s new career. It was difficult. For the most part, you blame the acoustics. But you can’t totally discount the idea that perhaps your hearing is beginning to fail.

It can be extremely challenging to self-diagnose hearing loss (that’s why, typically, it’s not suggested). But you should keep your eye out for certain warnings. When enough red flags show up, it’s time to call us for a hearing exam.

Hearing loss’s early signs

Not every symptom and sign of hearing loss is evident. But if you happen to see your own experiences reflected in any of the items on this list, you just may be experiencing some degree of hearing loss.

Here are some of the most common early signs of hearing loss:

  • You’re suddenly finding it hard to hear when you’re talking on the phone: Texting is popular nowadays, so you might not talk on the phone as much as you once did. But if you’re having trouble understanding the phone calls you do receive (even with the volume turned all the way up), you may be confronting another red flag for your hearing.
  • A friend notices that your media devices are getting increasingly louder. Maybe you keep cranking the volume up on your mobile phone. Or maybe, your TV speakers are as loud as they go. Usually, you’re not the one that notices the loud volume, it’s your children, possibly your neighbor, or your friends.
  • You have difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds. Maybe you find your tea kettle has been whistling for five minutes without your knowledge. Or perhaps the doorbell rings, and you don’t notice it. Hearing loss usually impacts particular frequencies usually higher pitched frequencies.
  • You discover it’s hard to make out particular words. This warning sign frequently appears because consonants are beginning to sound similar, or at least, becoming more difficult to distinguish. The “sh” and “th” sounds are the most prevalent examples. But another typical example is when the “s” and “f” sounds get mixed up.
  • You frequently need people to repeat what they said. If you find yourself asking multiple people to speak slower, speak louder, or repeat what they said, this is particularly true. This early sign of hearing impairment may be happening without you even noticing.
  • When you’re in a busy noisy place, you have trouble hearing conversations. This is frequently an early sign of hearing loss.
  • Normal sounds seem oppressively loud. It’s one of the more uncommon early warning signs associated with hearing loss, but hyperacusis is common enough that you may find yourself encountering its symptoms. If you are having this problem, particularly if it persists, it’s time for a hearing exam.
  • Your ears are ringing: This ringing (it can actually be other sounds too) is called tinnitus. Tinnitus isn’t always linked to hearing issues, but it is often an early warning sign of hearing loss, so a hearing test is probably in order.

Next up: Take a exam

You might have one or more of these early warnings but the only real way to determine the health of your hearing is to get a hearing test.

You may be dealing with hearing loss if you are experiencing any one of these symptoms. A hearing assessment will be able to tell what degree of impairment, if any, exists. And then you’ll be better prepared to determine the right treatment.

This will help you have a much more enjoyable time at that next family get-together.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.