You don’t suddenly 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. Many of them are over the age of 75 before they recognize a change. Some signs show up earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is a problem right away.
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. You can’t identify 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 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 distracting. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a typical sign of hearing loss.
Triggers are a significant factor in tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. Maybe the ringing only occurs when your tired or in the morning for example.
It’s essential that you don’t neglect tinnitus because it is an indication that something is happening with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be caused by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. If you want to know for certain, you will need to consult your doctor.
2. You Dread Talking on The Phone
It’s not hard to make excuses for phone problems like:
- My phone is out dated.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
Consider why you dislike using 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 issue.
3. It Seems As if Everyone Mumbles These Days
It used to be just the kids, but recently, the lady on the TV news, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to mumbling when they talk to you. It’s difficult to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation.
The most likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. One of the first signs that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” drop off.
4. What Did You Say?
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. Pay attention if someone says something about it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Maybe when you are having a chat with the neighbor everything sounds fine but when his wife starts to talk you can’t make out a word. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or injury 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 problem. Even when you are in common situations, something as simple as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things complicated. Those sounds are high pitched, also.
6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes comprehending what people say that much harder. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start chatting around you or the AC pops on.
7. You Never Used to Feel so Tired
It’s can be fatiguing struggling to understand what people are saying. Your brain has to work overtime to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. You may even observe 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? If your last eye exam was normal, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.
8. That Darn TV
Rather than accusing the service provider when you need to keep turning the TV up, consider getting a hearing exam. It can be hard to hear people talking on TV shows when you have loss of hearing. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. How about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing could be faltering.
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 you have a hearing problem.