You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. 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. Many of them are over the age of 75 before they recognize a change. Some symptoms show up earlier, though, and you may not notice there is a problem immediately.
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. However, if you don’t know what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. You could 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 neglect if it doesn’t become too distracting and it’s actually not very subtle. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a common symptom of hearing loss.
The ringing can be periodic and only act up when triggered. Maybe the ringing only takes place when your tired or in the morning for instance.
It’s important that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is going on with your body. It may be hearing loss, but it could also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. You won’t know for sure until you see your doctor, though.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
It’s easy to make excuses for phone issues like:
- I have an old phone.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
If you hate using the phone think about the reasons why. If you turn the volume all the way up and can’t comprehend what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing problem.
3. These Days it Seems Like Everybody Mumbles
It used to be only the kids, but recently, the lady on the TV news, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to mumbling when they talk to you. Could it actually be true that suddenly everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
The more 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 as well anymore. Usually, the first to recognize you have hearing loss are people close to you like coworkers or family members. Pay attention if someone comments on it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Maybe when you are having a chat 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 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 higher pitched. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same problem. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those tones are high pitched, as well.
6. Going Out Used to be Much More Fun
Even worse are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes comprehending what people say that much harder. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start chatting around you or the AC comes on.
7. You Feel More Tired Than Usual
Battling to comprehend words is tiring. You are more exhausted than normal because your brain is working harder to process 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 understand words? It’s time to have your ears tested if your eye examination came back okay.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
Instead of accusing the service provider when you have to keep turning the TV up, consider getting a hearing exam. It can be hard to follow the dialog on TV shows when you have loss of hearing. For example, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound unclear. What about the other sounds in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is most likely starting to falter if you have to keep turning up the volume.
The good news is all you need to do to know for sure is a professional hearing test. If you find out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids can get things back to normal.