People often assume that if they're experiencing problems with their hearing and their ears, it will be obvious. But this is not always the case. Hearing loss and other ear problems often come on slowly, which means you might not even realize changes are occurring at first. Nevertheless, if you pay close attention and remain self-aware, you can often pick up on these subtle signs you need to see an audiologist.
You're turning the volume up higher and higher.
Do you now have to listen to your TV on volume level 17, whereas you used to listen on 12 or 14? It's easy to blame the TV and insist its sound quality is diminishing with age. It's possible that this is what's happening. However, it is also possible that you're slowly losing your hearing. Have a friend listen to the TV on the same volume you use. Do they think the TV is overly loud? If so, you should see an audiologist.
People complain about noises you don't hear.
When you're sitting on the sofa or riding in the car with someone else, do you often find that they complain about little noises that you can't even hear? They may say things like "what's that clicking noise?" or "Do you hear that whining noise?" But try as you might, you can't hear the noise they're referencing. This could be a sign of early hearing loss, which is a sure sign you need to see an audiologist.
You've become clumsy or off-balance.
Have you found that you've become more clumsy lately? Maybe you're bumping into things a lot, and you might feel like you lose your balance often. There are many possible causes of these symptoms, but inner ear issues are one of them. Your ears are more related to your balance than you might realize! An audiologist will take a look and refer you to the ideal specialist if they don't find an explanation in your ears.
Ringing in your ears.
Ringing in your ears can be annoying, but people sometimes shrug it off, figuring it's just a sign of stress. Sometimes, it is — but other times, it's a subtle sign of hearing loss. It's worth seeing an audiologist to be sure of what you're dealing with.
Don't wait until you're really struggling to hear to see the audiologist. Make an appointment if you're dealing with any of the issues above.