You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. Hearing loss comes gradually over time for most people, particularly 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. You might not realize the problem right away even though some signs show up earlier.
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. Consider these eight barely noticeable indicators that you may have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
This is one that people tend to neglect if it doesn’t become too disruptive and it’s really not very subtle. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a typical sign of hearing loss.
Triggers are a significant factor with tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. For instance, maybe the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens when you first get up or when you are tired.
Tinnitus is an indicator that something else is going on with your body so it should never be neglected. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be induced by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. If you want to know for certain, you will need to see your doctor.
2. You Hate Talking on The Phone
Here are some common excuses for phone issues:
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- I have an out dated phone.
If you hate talking on the phone consider the reasons why. Get someone you know to test the phone for you if the volume is up and you still can’t hear it. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are the issue.
3. It Seems Like Everyone Mumbles These Days
It used to be only the kids, but lately, the lady on the TV news, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to mumbling when they speak to you. Could it really be possible that all of a sudden everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
It’s much more probable that you may not be hearing words in the same way. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “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 begin to realize that you can’t hear conversations as well anymore. Usually, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are having difficulties hearing. Pay attention if someone says something about it.
5. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others
Perhaps you can hear the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled up. It’s a common symptom 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 higher pitched. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. 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 difficult. Those tones are high pitched, also.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be
Even worse are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes understanding what people say that much harder. Something as simple as the AC coming on during dinner or the sound of people talking around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Are More Tired Than Normal
It’s can be draining struggling to understand what people are saying. You are more fatigued than normal because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. You might even observe changes in your other senses. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to comprehend words? It’s time to have your ears tested if your eye exam came back okay.
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 exam. When you have hearing loss it can be hard to hear dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other noises in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing could be failing.
The good news is all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing examination. If it turns out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids can get things back to normal.