Surefire Signs You Need a Hearing Test


Your last family dinner was frustrating. Not because of any intra-family drama (though there’s always a bit of that). The issue was the noise, which was making it hard to hear anything. So you weren’t able to have very much enjoyable conversation with any of your family members. The whole experience was incredibly aggravating. You feel like the room’s acoustics played a big part. But you can’t totally ignore the possibility that perhaps your hearing is beginning to go bad.

It can be incredibly challenging to self-diagnose hearing loss (that’s why, generally, it’s not advisable). But you should keep your eye out for some early warning signs. If some of these warning signs show up, it’s most likely time to have your hearing checked.

Hearing Loss Has Some Early Warning Signs

Several of the symptoms of hearing loss are subtle. But if you happen to find your own experiences reflected in any of the items on the following list, you just might be experiencing some level of hearing loss.

Some of the most prevalent early signs of hearing impairment might include:

  • Someone makes you realize that you keep turning up the volume on your media. Perhaps you keep turning up the volume on your mobile phone. Or maybe your TV speakers are as loud as they will go. Usually, you’re not the one that notices the loud volume, it’s your kids, maybe your neighbor, or your friends.
  • There’s a ringing in your ears: This ringing, which can also be the sound of screeching, thumping, buzzing, or other sounds, is technically named tinnitus. Tinnitus isn’t always connected with hearing issues, but it is often an early warning sign of hearing loss, so a hearing exam is probably in order.
  • It’s suddenly very hard to comprehend phone calls: Nowadays, because of texting, we use the phone much less than we used to. But if you have the volume turned all the way up on your phone and you’re still having difficulty hearing calls, it’s most likely an early warning of hearing loss.
  • Certain sounds seem so loud that they’re intolerable. This early warning sign is less prevalent, 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.
  • High pitched sounds are hard to hear. Things like a whistling teapot or ringing doorbell sometimes go unnoticed for several minutes or more. Early hearing loss is normally most noticeable in specific (and often high-pitched) frequencies of sound.
  • You have a difficult time making out interactions in a crowded or noisy place. In the “family dinner” illustration above, this specific thing happened and it’s definitely an early warning sign.
  • You keep asking people to repeat themselves. If you find yourself repeatedly asking people to talk louder, repeat themselves, or slow down when they talk, this is particularly true. Often, you may not even acknowledge how frequently this is occurring and you might miss this red flag.
  • Certain words seem harder to hear than others. This red flag frequently appears because consonants are beginning to sound similar, or, at least, becoming harder to differentiate. The th- and sh- sounds are very commonly muffled. At times, it’s the s- and f-sounds or p- and t-sounds that become conflated.
  • It’s Time to Get a Hearing Test

    No matter how many of these early warning signs you might encounter, there’s really only one way to recognize, with confidence, whether your hearing is going bad: get a hearing test.

    You could very well be going through some amount of hearing loss even if you’re only noticing one of these early warning signs. A hearing evaluation will be able to tell what level of impairment, if any, is present. And then you’ll be better equipped to get the best treatment.

    This will make your next family get together 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.