You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one day 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 may not realize the problem right away even though some symptoms show up earlier.
Early hearing loss has gradual and subtle signs. 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. You might be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.
1. Ringing in The Ears
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but people tend to ignore it unless it’s disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing, is a common sign of hearing loss.
Triggers are a significant factor with tinnitus so it can be sporadic, too. Perhaps the ringing only takes place when your tired or in the morning for example.
Tinnitus is a sign that something else is happening with your body so it should never be ignored. 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 Dread Talking on The Phone
It’s not hard to make excuses for phone issues like:
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
- My phone is out dated.
Think about why you dread using our phone. If you turn the volume all the way up and can’t understand what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the issue.
3. These Days it Seems Like Everyone Mumbles
Lately, it’s not only your kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have begun to mumble to you. It’s difficult to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation.
The more likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. One of the first signs that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” drop off.
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. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice you are having difficulties hearing. Pay attention if someone comments on it.
5. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others
Maybe you can understand the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife starts talking, 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 normal symptom.
Her voice isn’t as clear because it’s a higher pitch. Your daughter or grandchild might present the same issue. 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 complicated. Those tones are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Used to be Much More Fun
Again, there are those people who mumble, and that’s not fun. Also, being in noisy places makes comprehending what people say a big challenge. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start talking around you or the AC comes on.
7. You Never Used to Feel This Tired
Battling to comprehend words is fatiguing. You are more exhausted than usual because your brain is working harder to process what it hears. You may 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 understand words? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye examination came back okay.
8. That Darn TV
It is easy to blame the TV or the service provider when you have to keep turning up the volume, but if this is happening all the time, maybe it’s time for a hearing exam. When you have loss of hearing it can be difficult to follow dialog. For example, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. And don’t forget about the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing may be faltering.
The good news is all you need to do to know for certain is a professional hearing test. If you find out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will get things back to normal.