Do You Need a Hearing Test? Here’s What You Should Know

Man with hearing loss trying to hear at the dinner table with his family.

The last time you had dinner with your family was a hard experience. It wasn’t because your family was having a hard time getting along. The issue was the noise, which was making it hard to hear anything. So you weren’t able to have very much meaningful conversation with any members of your family. The whole experience was extremely aggravating. You feel like the room’s acoustics played a big part. But you can’t entirely discount the possibility that perhaps your hearing is beginning to go bad.

It’s not typically recommended to try to self diagnose hearing loss because it generally isn’t possible. But you should pay attention to some early warning signs. When enough of these red flags spring up, it’s worth scheduling an appointment to get examined by us.

Early Signs of Hearing Loss

Some of the indications of hearing loss are subtle. But you could be going through some degree of hearing loss if you find yourself recognizing some of these signs.

Some of the most common early signs of hearing impairment may include:

  • When you’re in a noisy crowded place, conversations often get lost. In the “family dinner” illustration above, this exact thing happened and it’s definitely an early warning sign.
  • You experience some ringing in your ears: Ringing in your ears is called tinnitus (and, actually, tinnitus can be other sounds also: thumping, buzzing, screeching, humming, and so on). Tinnitus is often an early warning sign of hearing loss, but not always so if your ears are ringing, a hearing test is most likely in order.
  • High pitched sounds are difficult to hear. Things like a whistling teapot or ringing doorbell frequently go unnoticed for several minutes or more. Early hearing loss is normally most recognizable in specific (and frequently high-pitched) frequencies of sound.
  • Some words seem harder to hear than others. This warning sign frequently appears because consonants are beginning to sound similar, or, at least, becoming difficult to differentiate. The th- and sh- sounds are very commonly muffled. It can also commonly be the p- and t- sounds or the s- and f- sounds
  • You keep asking people to repeat themselves. If you find yourself repeatedly asking people to speak up, repeat what they said, or slow down when they speak, this is especially true. Often, you may not even acknowledge how frequently this is occurring and you may miss this warning sign.
  • Phone calls suddenly seem muffled and difficult to understand: People do a lot of texting nowadays, so you might not take as many phone calls as you used to. But if you’re having trouble understanding the phone calls you do get (even with the volume cranked all the way up), you may be facing another red flag for your hearing.
  • Certain sounds seem so loud that they’re unbearable. This early warning sign is less common, but hyperacusis is common enough that you might find yourself experiencing its symptoms. If distinct sounds become intolerably loud (especially if the issue doesn’t resolve itself in short order), that could be an early hearing loss symptom.
  • Someone makes you aware that you keep turning the volume up. Maybe the volume on your phone keeps getting louder and louder. Maybe it’s your TV that’s at max volume. Typically, it’s a friend, neighbor, or a family member that makes you aware of the increasing volumes.
  • It’s Time to Get a Hearing Examination

    Regardless of how many of these early warning signs you might experience, there’s really only one way to recognize, with confidence, whether your hearing is going bad: get a hearing test.

    In general, even one of these early warning signs could be evidence that you’re developing some type of hearing impairment. A hearing assessment will be able to tell what level of impairment, if any, exists. And then you’ll be better equipped to get the best treatment.

    This will make your next family gathering a lot smoother and more enjoyable.

    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.