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Warning Signs That You or a Family Member Are Experiencing Hearing Loss

Hi, I'm Denise Kopecki with Texan Renew Hearing Center. Today we're going to talk about warning signs that you may notice with yourself or with a loved one that they may have a hearing loss.

The first thing you may notice with someone who might be experiencing hearing loss is that they have you repeat or say "what" or "huh." For some people it's just a natural thing to say "huh" as soon as they hear something that they don't understand. It doesn't necessarily mean that it wasn't loud enough, it may just mean that it wasn't clear enough. 

The next one on the list is people accuse you of mumbling or you accuse others of mumbling. It's not so much that people aren't speaking loud enough as it is that it was hard to make out certain words. It can be hard to determine if someone is saying "he's the chief" or "he's cheap" or "he's a cheat." There are times when we say "huh" or "what" to that because we don't want to accuse someone of being cheap, when really they're the chief of police. 

Another indicator is if you go to certain places and there's noise in the background, you assume that the only reason you can't hear is just because of the other conversations and noises playing in the background. While yes that is true for some places it is difficult to hear, even for people without hearing loss, if you're finding yourself not able to find anywhere that's quiet enough because of background noise, you may want to consider seeing a hearing specialist. 

Have you ever had family or a neighbor say, "hey, I thought you were having a party at your house last night," and you respond with, "no I was home alone, but I was watching t.v."? If this is the case, you might have your t.v. too loud- even though it feels perfectly acceptable and normal to you to have the t.v. turned up that loud. If you have people around you complaining that the t.v. is too loud or you're the one pulling up in someone's driveway and can hear what they're watching before you even walk inside, it may be time for them to have their ears checked.

Having difficulty hearing women and children's voices is common with a mild hearing loss. Some people like to play it off that because it may be a young child or a woman with a soft voice that they can't hear them. It's easy for men to say, "I just don't hear my wife's voice. It's selective hearing." If there are people in your life that you selectively can't hear and those numbers are gaining, it's time to get your hearing checked by a professional. 

Do you ever feel like you get tired or are strained to have conversations? Are there places or events that you'd rather just not go because it's going to be frustrating that you won't be able to understand the people there? If you're feeling exhausted or frustrated by being in social settings, it's probably time you get a hearing test.

Do you ever have problems hearing on the telephone? Yes, there are times with some automated calls where that they speak so fast that you may have difficulties. However, if you're noticing more and more that the only way to hear on the phone is to have it on speaker phone to have someone else to help you understand what's being said, that's a good indicator that it's time to have your ears checked. 

If you find yourself misunderstanding what people are saying more often, you might want to see why that is. I know we touched on it earlier with the "cheap, cheat, and cheif," but let's say you're wife says "hey honey, do you mind coming in the kitchen" and you respond with "I just have chicken for lunch, I don't want it for dinner," you're going to be left feeling frustrated. It can become uncomfortable to want to answer when you're not always sure what the question was in the first place. 

If any of these things resonate with you or a loved one it might be time to encourage them (or yourself) to have their ears tested. There are little things that can really seem like it's just something that everyone struggles with, but until you have your ears checked you can't know for sure if it's normal or if it's signs that you're starting to experience hearing loss.

Everyone who is over the age of 40 should have a baseline hearing test. So, if it's been a year or two since your 40th birthday or it's been a year or two since your last hearing exam call today to schedule an appointment with your hearing care provider.