You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss gradually over time, 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. You might not detect the trouble right away even though some symptoms show up earlier.
Early hearing loss has progressive 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. Think about these eight barely noticeable indicators that you may have hearing loss.
1. Ringing in The Ears
This is a symptom that people tend to ignore if it doesn’t get too disruptive and it’s really not very subtle. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical sign of hearing loss.
Triggers are a significant factor with tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. Maybe the ringing only occurs when your tired or in the morning for instance.
Tinnitus is an indicator 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 sure until you consult your doctor, though.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
It’s easy to make excuses for phone problems like:
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- My phone is out dated.
If you dislike using the phone think about the reasons why. Get someone you know to test the phone for you if the volume is up and you still don’t hear it. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing problem.
3. These Days it Seems Like Everybody 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 actually be true that suddenly everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
The more likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. One of the initial signs that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants such as “S” and “T” drop off.
4. What Did You Say?
You may not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations any more until somebody points out that you say “What? a lot. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are struggling to hear. Pay attention if someone comments on it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Perhaps you can hear the neighbor fine, but when his wife starts talking, everything gets messed up. It’s a common symptom of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it’s not as clear. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology 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
Even worse are the people who actually mumble. Also, it’s much harder to comprehend what people are saying when it’s noisy. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start chatting around you or the AC comes on.
7. You Never Used to Feel This Tired
Struggling to comprehend words is exhausting. Your brain has to work extra hard to process 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 examination was okay, then the next thing to get checked is your hearing.
8. That Darn TV
It’s easy to blame the TV or the service provider when you have to keep turning up the volume, but if this is going on all the time, maybe it’s time for a hearing exam. When you have loss of hearing it can be hard to hear dialog. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound unclear. How about the other stuff in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing may be faltering.
The good news is all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing exam. If it turns out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids can get things back to normal.