It’s not like you simply wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. 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. Often, the change isn’t even recognized until after the age of 75. You might not detect the problem immediately even though some signs show up earlier.
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 identify the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. You may be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.
1. Ringing in The Ears
This is one that people tend 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 periodic and only act up when triggered. As an example, maybe the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.
Tinnitus is a sign that something else is happening with your body so it should never be neglected. It might be hearing loss, but it might also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. If you want to know for certain, 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 old.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
If you hate talking on the phone think about the reasons why. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t comprehend what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are the issue.
3. These Days it Seems As if Everybody Mumbles
It used to be only the kids, but recently, the lady on the TV news, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to mumbling when they speak to you. Could it actually be possible 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.
You might not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations any more until someone points out that you say “What? a lot. Usually, the first to recognize you have hearing loss are people close to you like coworkers or family members. If someone says something about it, pay attention.
5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others
Perhaps when you are having a conversation with the neighbor everything sounds fine but when his wife joins in you can’t understand a word. It’s a common sign 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. You might have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. Even when you are in common situations, something as basic as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things difficult. Those sounds are high pitched, as well.
6. Going Out Used to be Much More Fun
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, it’s much more difficult to comprehend what people are saying when it’s noisy. Something as simple as the AC coming on during dinner or the sound of people chatting around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Never Used to Feel This Tired
Struggling to understand words is fatiguing. Your brain has to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. You might 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? If your last eye examination was normal, then the next thing to get checked is your hearing.
8. That Dang TV
It is 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 exam. It can be difficult to hear the dialog on TV shows when you suffer from loss of hearing. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. And don’t forget about the AC, ceiling fan or other noises in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing might be failing.
The good news is all you need to do to know for sure is a professional hearing examination. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that your hearing has declined.