It’s not like you simply wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. For most people, hearing loss comes in degrees, especially when it comes to aging. Age-related hearing loss affects about one in three people in this country. Many of them are over the age of 75 before they notice a change. Some symptoms show up earlier, though, and you may not realize there is a problem right away.
Early hearing loss has gradual and subtle signs. 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 have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.
1. Ringing in The Ears
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s disruptive. The medical term for this ringing is tinnitus, a common symptom of hearing loss.
The ringing can be sporadic and only act up when triggered. For instance, maybe the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens when you first get up or when you are tired.
Tinnitus is a sign that something else is going on with your body so it should never be neglected. It could be hearing loss, but it might also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. You won’t know for sure until you consult your doctor, though.
2. You Dread Talking on The Phone
Here are some common excuses for phone issues:
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- I have an out dated phone.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
Think about why you dread talking on our phone. 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 you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing issue.
3. These Days it Seems As if Everybody Mumbles
Lately, it’s not only your kids, but your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. Could it really be possible that suddenly everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
It’s much more probable 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 recognize that you can’t hear conversations very well anymore. Usually, the first to notice you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. If someone says something about it, pay attention.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Maybe you can hear the neighbor fine, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets messed up. It’s a common sign 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 isn’t as clear. 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, as well.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, it’s much harder to understand what people are saying when it’s noisy. Something as routine 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
Battling to understand words is tiring. Your brain has to work extra hard to process what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than normal. You may even notice changes in your other senses. If your brain is using 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 exam came back normal.
8. That Dang 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, perhaps it’s time for a hearing test. When you have loss of hearing it can be hard to follow dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for example. What about the other sounds in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is probably beginning to fail if you have to keep turning up the volume.
A professional hearing test will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. If you find out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids will get things back to normal.