You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss comes in degrees, especially when it is related 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 may not detect the trouble right away even though some signs show up earlier.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. 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. Think about these eight barely noticeable indicators that you might have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
This is a symptom that people have a tendency to ignore if it doesn’t become too distracting and it’s really not that subtle. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing, is a common indication 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.
It’s essential that you don’t neglect tinnitus because it is an indication that something is going on with your body. It could be hearing loss, but it could 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 Hate Talking on The Phone
Here are some common excuses for phone issues:
- My phone is old.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
If you dislike using the phone think about the reasons why. Get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still don’t hear it. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing issue.
3. It Seems Like 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 speak to you. Could it really be possible that all of a sudden everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
The most likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is changing.
4. What Did You Say?
You might not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations any more until somebody points out that you say “What? a lot. Usually, the first to recognize you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. Pay attention if someone comments on it.
5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others
Maybe you can hear the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife starts talking, 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 isn’t as clear because it’s higher pitched. You may 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 complicated. Those sounds are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes understanding what people say a big challenge. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start conversing around you or the AC pops on.
7. You Feel More Tired Than Normal
Struggling to understand words is exhausting. Your brain has to work overtime to manage what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than usual. You may 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 comprehend words? If your last eye test was okay, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.
8. That Darn 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, maybe it’s time for a hearing test. It can be hard to hear people talking on TV shows when you suffer from loss of hearing. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. 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 might be faltering.
The good news is all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing exam. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that your hearing has declined.