You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. Hearing loss happens in degrees for most people, 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 sooner, though, and you don’t realize there is an issue right away.
The early symptoms 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 may be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.
1. Ears Ringing
This is a symptom that people have a tendency to ignore if it doesn’t become too disruptive and it’s really not that subtle. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical sign of hearing loss.
The ringing can be intermittent and only act up when triggered. Perhaps the ringing only takes place when your tired or when you first get up for instance.
Tinnitus is a sign that something else is going on with your body so it should never be ignored. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be induced by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. You won’t know for certain until you consult your doctor, though.
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.
Consider why you dread talking on our phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t understand what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the problem.
3. These Days it Seems As if Everyone Mumbles
Lately, 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 really be true that suddenly everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
It’s much more likely that you might not be hearing words in the same way. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is changing.
Only when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you begin to realize that you can’t hear conversations very well anymore. Usually, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice you are struggling to hear. Pay attention if someone comments on it.
5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others
Maybe when you are having a chat with the neighbor everything sounds okay but when his wife joins in you can’t make out a word. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a common symptom.
Her voice is higher pitched, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same issue. 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 Used to be
Again, there are those people who mumble, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much harder to understand what people are saying when you are in a noisy place. Something as routine as the AC coming on during dinner or the sound of people talking around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Are More Tired Than Normal
It’s can be draining struggling to comprehend what people are saying. Your brain has to work overtime to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than normal. You might even notice changes in your other senses. If your brain is using 110 percent of its time and energy to comprehend words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye exam came back okay.
8. That Dang TV
Instead of blaming the service provider when you need to keep turning the TV up, consider getting a hearing exam. When you have loss of hearing it can be hard to follow dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. What about the other stuff in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing might be failing.
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 your hearing has declined.