You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one day when you wake up. 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 recognized until after the age of 75. Some signs show up earlier, though, and you may not notice there is an issue right away.
Early hearing loss has progressive and subtle symptoms. 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 be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Ringing in The Ears
This is one that people tend to neglect if it doesn’t become too distracting and it’s actually not that subtle. The medical term for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are a significant factor with tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. For example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.
It’s crucial that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is going on with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be induced by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. You won’t know for sure until you consult your doctor, though.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
It’s easy to make excuses for phone problems like:
- My phone is out dated.
- 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. Get someone else 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. These Days it Seems Like Everybody Mumbles
It used to be only the kids, but lately, the lady on the TV news, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to mumbling when they talk to you. Could it really be true that all of a sudden everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
It’s more likely that you might not be hearing words in the same way. Mumbling or dropped off consonants such as “S” or “T” is one of the first indications that your hearing is changing.
Only when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to realize that you can’t hear conversations as well anymore. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are having difficulties hearing. Pay attention if someone says something about it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Perhaps when you are having a chat with your neighbor everything sounds okay but when his wife starts to talk you can’t understand a word. 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 higher pitched. You may have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even things like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those sounds are high pitched, also.
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 comprehend what people are saying when you are in a noisy place. Something as simple as the AC popping on during dinner or the sound of people conversing around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Never Used to Feel This Tired
Struggling to understand words is exhausting. Your brain has to work extra hard to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. Your other senses might also experience changes. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye examination came back okay.
8. That Darn TV
It’s easy to blame the TV or the service provider when you have to keep cranking 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 things in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing might be failing.
A professional hearing exam will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.