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

It may seem like it’d be obvious, but hearing loss can be gradual, so how can one know they have it? There is no shooting pain to function as a warning signal. You do not collapse or make a few more trips to the bathroom once it occurs, either. It’s safe to say the signs of hearing loss are somewhat more subtle than other age-related illnesses like diabetes or heart disease.

Even so, there are indications if you know to look for them. It is 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’re able to pinpoint hearing loss for you or someone you care about.

Your Social Life Suffers

The effect on socialization offers a number of the most telling signs. For instance, if the first thing out of your mouth during most conversations is “what?” That should be a sign you are not comprehending words well. Asking the people that you talk to repeat what they said is something they are very likely to detect before you do, too, so pay attention to how folks respond to having conversations with you.

When talking in a group of a couple of individuals, you may have trouble following along. You’re missing bits of what each person says, thus you aren’t connecting the dots anymore. You can not ask everybody speaking to echo themselves, either, so you just get lost. As time passes, you dodge group discussions or stand there not understanding what’s said, because it’s just too confusing once you do.

Background Noise is Intense

If all you hear these days is background sound, then it is time for a hearing test. This is a frequent sign of hearing loss because you’re not able to filter out sounds like a fan blowing or an air conditioner running. It gets to the point where you can’t hear what people are saying for you since it becomes lost in the background sound.

The TV Goes Up and Up

It is simple to excuse the need to flip the TV volume up on this dying set because of a busy room, but when it occurs every day, it’s most likely an indication of gradual hearing loss. When everybody else starts telling you that you have the TV or computer volume up too high, you should wonder why that is, and, probably, conclude that your hearing is not like it was once.

You Find Yourself Watching Their Lips

Lip reading is a coping skill for missed words. Gradual hearing loss begins with the loss of hard sounds. Words that contain certain letters will probably be incomplete. Your mind might automatically shift your eyes to the individual’s lips to repair the problem. Chances are you do not even understand you do it until someone tells you or unexpectedly seems uncomfortable when talking with you.

Then There is the Ringing

It can be a ringing, clicking or buzz or the sound of wind in your ears — this is called tinnitus, and it’s an indication of significant hearing loss. These sounds are not real, but auditory hallucinations that only you hear. For some people, they are just annoying, but for others tinnitus is debilitating. If you’ve got that, then you surely have hearing loss that you need to handle.

Hearing problems are not always evident to the individual experiencing them, but it is to others. Listen to what your loved ones are telling you about your hearing loss. Consider, too, other medical issues 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.

It’s like putting pieces of a puzzle together. If you do come to that decision, visit your doctor and receive a professional hearing test for affirmation. Hearing loss is not a catastrophe, but for most, it will imply it’s time to think about hearing aids.

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