You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. For most people, loss of hearing 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 recognize a change. You may not realize the trouble immediately even though some symptoms show up earlier.
The early signs of gradual 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
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s distracting. The medical term for this ringing is tinnitus, a common symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are a considerable factor in tinnitus so it can be sporadic, too. For example, 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 happening with your body so it should never be neglected. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be caused by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. You won’t know for certain until you consult your doctor, though.
2. You Dread Talking on The Phone
It’s easy to make excuses for phone issues 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.
Think about why you dread using our phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t comprehend what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the problem.
3. It Seems As if Everybody Mumbles These Days
It used to be just the kids, but recently, the news anchor, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to muttering when they talk to you. Could it actually be possible that suddenly everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
It’s more likely 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 after someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to realize that you can’t hear conversations very well anymore. Usually, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are struggling to hear. If someone comments on it, pay attention.
5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others
Maybe when you are having a conversation with the neighbor everything sounds fine but when his wife starts to talk you can’t understand a word. 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 a higher pitch. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same problem. Even when you are in common situations, something as basic as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things difficult. Those tones are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes comprehending what people say that much harder. Something as simple as the AC coming on during dinner or the sound of people conversing around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Never Used to Feel This Tired
It’s can be exhausting struggling to understand what people are saying. You are more exhausted than normal because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. Your other senses may also undergo changes. 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 exam was normal, then the next thing to get checked is your hearing.
8. That Dang TV
Instead of blaming the service provider when you have to keep cranking the TV up, think about getting a hearing exam. It can be difficult to hear the dialog on TV shows when you suffer from loss of hearing. There is the background music confusing things, for example. What about the other stuff in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is probably beginning to falter if you need to keep turning the volume up.
A professional hearing test will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.