It’s not like you simply wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. For most people, loss of hearing comes in degrees, especially when it is related 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 earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is a problem right away.
Early hearing loss has progressive 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’re not sure what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. You might be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Ringing in The Ears
This is a symptom that people tend to ignore if it doesn’t become too distracting and it’s really not very subtle. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical sign of hearing loss.
Triggers are a major factor in tinnitus so it can be sporadic, too. For example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.
It’s crucial that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is an indication that something is happening with your body. It could be hearing loss, but it may also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. If you want to know for certain, you will need to consult your doctor.
2. You Dread Talking on The Phone
Here are some common excuses for phone issues:
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- I have an old phone.
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
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 Everybody Mumbles These Days
Lately, it’s not only your kids, but your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have begun to mumble to you. It’s difficult to imagine that everyone you deal with suddenly 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 indications that your hearing is changing.
4. What Did You Say?
Only after someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you begin 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 notice 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 perfectly, 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 is a higher pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You might have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. Even things like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those sounds are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun
Again, there are those people who mumble, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much more difficult to understand what people are saying when you are in a noisy place. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start conversing around you or the AC pops on.
7. You Are More Tired Than Normal
Battling to comprehend words is exhausting. You are more exhausted than usual because your brain is working harder to process what it hears. 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 understand words? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye examination came back okay.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
It is easy to blame the TV or the service provider when you have to keep cranking up the volume, but if this is happening all the time, perhaps it’s time for a hearing test. When you have hearing loss it can be hard to follow dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for example. What about the other sounds in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is probably starting to fail if you need to keep turning up the volume.
The good news is all you need to do to know for sure is a professional hearing examination. If you find out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will get things back to normal.