It’s not like you simply wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. For most people, loss of hearing comes in degrees, especially when it is related 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. You may not detect the trouble immediately even though some symptoms show up earlier.
The early signs of gradual hearing loss are subtle. Recognizing them as soon as possible is essential to slow down the progression of hearing loss or other health problems related to hearing loss. However, if you’re not sure what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. 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 ignore if it doesn’t get too distracting and it’s actually not that subtle. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a common sign of hearing loss.
Triggers are a significant factor with tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. As an example, maybe the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.
Tinnitus is an indicator that something else is going on with your body so it should never be neglected. It might be hearing loss, but it could also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. If you want to know for sure, you will need to see your doctor.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
Here are some common excuses for phone issues:
- My phone is old.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
Think about why you dread talking on our phone. If you turn the volume all the way up and can’t understand what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing problem.
3. These Days it Seems As if Everyone Mumbles
Recently, it’s not only the kids, but your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have begun to mumble to you. Could it actually be possible that all of a sudden everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
The most likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. One of the first signs that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” drop off.
4. What Did You Say?
Only when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you begin 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 having difficulties hearing. If someone comments on it, pay attention.
5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others
Perhaps when you are having a chat with your neighbor everything sounds okay but when his wife starts to talk you can’t make out a word. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or injury to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a normal symptom.
Her voice isn’t as clear because it’s a higher pitch. Your daughter or grandchild might present the same problem. Even things like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those sounds are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Once Was
Again, there are those people who mumble, and that’s not fun. Also, being in noisy places makes comprehending what people say that much harder. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start conversing around you or the AC pops on.
7. You Never Used to Feel This Tired
It’s can be fatiguing struggling to understand what people are saying. Your brain has to work extra hard to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than normal. You may even observe changes in your other senses. 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 exam came back normal.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
It’s 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, perhaps it’s time for a hearing exam. When you have hearing loss it can be hard to hear dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for example. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other noises in the room. Your hearing is probably starting to fail if you have to keep turning up the volume.
The good news is all you need to do to know for sure is a professional hearing exam. If it turns out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids can get things back to normal.