It’s not like you just wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. For most people, loss of hearing gradually over time, especially when it comes to aging. Age-related hearing loss affects about one in three people in this country. Usually, the change isn’t even noticed until after the age of 75. Some symptoms show up earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is a problem immediately.
Early hearing loss has progressive and subtle signs. Recognizing them as soon as possible is essential to slow down the progression of hearing loss or other health problems related to hearing loss. You can’t recognize the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. You might have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.
1. Ears Ringing
This is one that people have a tendency to neglect if it doesn’t become too disruptive and it’s really not very subtle. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing, is a typical indication of hearing loss.
The ringing can be sporadic and only act up when triggered. Maybe the ringing only happens when your tired or when you first get up for example.
It’s crucial that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is happening with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be induced by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. If you want to know for certain, you will need to see your doctor.
2. You Dread Talking on The Phone
Here are some common excuses for phone problems:
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- I have an old phone.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
Think about why you dislike talking on our phone. Get someone you know to test the phone for you if the volume is up and you still don’t hear it. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing problem.
3. It Seems Like Everybody Mumbles These Days
It used to be just the kids, but lately, the news anchor, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to mumbling when they speak to you. Could it actually be true that all of a sudden everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
It’s much more likely that you might not be hearing words in the same way. One of the first indications that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” drop off.
Only when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to recognize that you can’t hear conversations very well anymore. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are struggling to hear. Pay attention if someone says something about it.
5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others
Maybe you can hear the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife starts talking, everything gets messed up. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a normal symptom.
Her voice is higher pitched, and that’s why it’s not as clear. Your daughter or grandchild might present the same issue. Even when you are in common situations, something as basic as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things difficult. Those sounds are high pitched, also.
6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, it’s much harder to understand what people are saying when you are in a noisy place. Something as routine as the AC popping on during dinner or the sound of people chatting around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Never Used to Feel so Tired
It’s can be fatiguing struggling to understand what people are saying. Your brain has to work overtime to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. You might even observe changes in your other senses. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to comprehend words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye examination was okay, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
8. That Dang TV
It is easy to blame the TV or the service provider when you have to keep turning up the volume, but if this is happening all the time, maybe it’s time for a hearing test. When you have loss of hearing it can be difficult to follow dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for example. And don’t forget about the AC, ceiling fan or other noises in the room. Your hearing is most likely starting to fail if you have to keep turning the volume up.
The good news is all you need to do to know for certain is a professional hearing examination. If it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids can get things back to normal.