It’s not like you just wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss comes gradually over time 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 symptoms show up sooner, though, and you may not notice there is a problem immediately.
Early hearing loss has gradual 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. However, if you’re not sure what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. Think about these eight barely noticeable indicators that you could have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
This is one that people tend to neglect if it doesn’t become too distracting and it’s actually not very subtle. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing, is a common indication of hearing loss.
Triggers are a significant factor with tinnitus so it can be sporadic, too. Maybe the ringing only takes place when your tired or when you first get up for example.
It’s essential that you don’t neglect tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is happening with your body. 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 consult your doctor.
2. You Hate Talking on The Phone
It’s not hard 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 dislike talking on our phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t comprehend what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the issue.
3. It Seems As if Everyone Mumbles Now
It used to be only the kids, but lately, the news anchor, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to muttering when they speak to you. Could it really be true that suddenly everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
The most likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. Mumbling or dropped off consonants such as “S” or “T” is one of the first indications that your hearing is changing.
Only after someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to realize that you can’t hear conversations as well anymore. Usually, the first to recognize you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. 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 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 is higher pitched, and that’s why it’s not as clear. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same problem. Even when you are in normal situations, something as simple as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things complicated. Those sounds are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Used to be Much More Fun
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. Also, being in noisy places makes comprehending what people say a big challenge. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start talking around you or the AC pops on.
7. You Are More Tired Than Normal
Struggling to understand words is fatiguing. Your brain has to work extra hard to process what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than usual. You may even notice changes in your other senses. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to understand words? It’s time to have your ears tested 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 cranking up the volume, but if this is going on all the time, perhaps it’s time for a hearing test. It can be hard to hear people talking on TV shows when you suffer from loss of hearing. For example, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound unclear. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other noises in the room. Your hearing is most likely starting to falter if you need to keep turning up the volume.
The good news is all you need to do to know for certain is a professional hearing test. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that your hearing has declined.