It’s not like you simply wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss comes in degrees for most people, particularly when it comes to aging. Age-related hearing loss affects about one in three people in this country. Often, the change isn’t even noticed until after the age of 75. Some signs show up sooner, though, and you don’t notice there is an issue immediately.
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. However, if you don’t know what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. You may have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Ringing in The Ears
This is one that people tend to ignore if it doesn’t become too disruptive and it’s really not very subtle. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a common sign of hearing loss.
The ringing can be sporadic and only act up when triggered. For instance, perhaps 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 may also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. You won’t know for certain until you see your doctor, though.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
It’s easy to make excuses for phone problems like:
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- My phone is out dated.
If you hate using the phone consider the reasons why. Get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still can’t hear it. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the issue.
3. It Seems Like Everyone Mumbles Now
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 probable that you might not be hearing words in the same way. Mumbling or dropped off consonants such as “S” or “T” is one of the first indications 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 people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are struggling to hear. Pay attention if someone says something about it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Perhaps you can hear the neighbor fine, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled up. 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 isn’t as clear because it’s a higher pitch. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same issue. 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 sounds are high pitched, also.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Once Was
Again, there are those people who mumble, and that’s not fun. Also, being in noisy places makes understanding what people say that much harder. Something as routine as the AC coming on during dinner or the sound of people chatting around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Feel More Tired Than Usual
Struggling to understand words is fatiguing. Your brain has to work extra hard to process what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than normal. Your other senses might also undergo changes. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to understand words? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye exam came back normal.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
Rather than blaming the service provider when you have to keep cranking the TV up, consider getting a hearing test. When you have loss of hearing it can be difficult to hear dialog. For example, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound unclear. How about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is probably beginning to fail if you have to keep turning the volume up.
A professional hearing exam will tell you for sure and that’s the good news. If it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids can get things back to normal.