It’s not as if you just wake up one morning, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss happens in degrees 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. Some symptoms show up sooner, though, and you may not notice there is an issue right away.
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 recognize the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. Think about these eight barely noticeable signs that you might have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
This is one that people have a tendency to neglect 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.
Triggers are a major factor with tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. Maybe the ringing only happens when your tired or when you first get up for instance.
Tinnitus is a sign that something else is going on 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 sure until you see your doctor, though.
2. You Hate Talking on The Phone
Here are some common excuses for phone issues:
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
- I have an old phone.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
If you dislike using the phone think about 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 you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing problem.
3. These Days it Seems As if Everybody Mumbles
It used to be just the kids, but lately, the news anchor, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to muttering when they talk 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. 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 may not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations any more until someone points out that you say “What? a lot. Usually, the first to recognize you have hearing loss are people close to you like coworkers or family members. If someone comments on it, pay attention.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Maybe when you are having a conversation with your neighbor everything sounds okay but when his wife starts to talk you can’t understand a word. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a normal symptom.
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You may have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those tones are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much more difficult to comprehend what people are saying when it’s noisy. 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
Struggling to comprehend words is tiring. You are more tired than usual because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. Your other senses might also experience changes. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to comprehend words? It’s time to have your ears tested if your eye exam came back okay.
8. That Dang TV
Instead of accusing the service provider when you have to keep turning the TV up, consider getting a hearing test. When you have loss of hearing it can be difficult to follow dialog. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. How about the other sounds in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing might be faltering.
The good news is all you need to do to know for certain is a professional hearing exam. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.