You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss comes in degrees, especially when it comes to aging. Age-related hearing loss affects about one in three people in this country. Often, the change isn’t even recognized until after the age of 75. You may not realize the trouble immediately even though some symptoms show up earlier.
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 identify the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. You could be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Ears Ringing
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a typical sign of hearing loss.
Triggers are a major factor with tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. As an example, maybe the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.
It’s crucial that you don’t neglect tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is going on with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be caused by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. If you want to know for certain, you will need to see your doctor.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
It’s not hard to make excuses for phone problems like:
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- I have an out dated phone.
If you hate using the phone consider the reasons why. Get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is up and you still can’t hear it. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the issue.
3. These Days it Seems As if Everyone Mumbles
Lately, it’s not only the kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. It’s difficult to believe that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation.
It’s much more probable that you may not be hearing words in the same way. One of the first signs that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants such as “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 as well anymore. Usually, the first to recognize you have hearing loss are people close to you like coworkers or family members. If someone comments on it, pay attention.
5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others
Perhaps you can understand the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife starts talking, everything gets muddled up. It’s a common symptom of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice isn’t as clear because it’s a higher pitch. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same issue. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those tones are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be
Even worse are the people who actually mumble. Also, it’s much more difficult to understand what people are saying when it’s noisy. Something as routine as the AC coming on during dinner or the sound of people conversing around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Never Used to Feel so Tired
Struggling to comprehend words is tiring. Your brain has to work extra hard to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. Your other senses may also experience changes. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to comprehend words? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye examination came back normal.
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 going on all the time, maybe it’s time for a hearing exam. It can be hard to hear people talking on TV shows when you have hearing loss. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. And don’t forget about the AC, ceiling fan or other noises in the room. Your hearing is probably beginning to falter if you have to keep turning up the volume.
The good news is all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing test. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.