It’s not as if you simply wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. For most people, hearing loss 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. You might not detect the trouble immediately even though some signs show up earlier.
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 clues that you might have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s distracting. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a common symptom of hearing loss.
The ringing can be intermittent and only act up when triggered. For example, maybe the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.
It’s crucial 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 sure until you consult your doctor, though.
2. You Dread Talking on The Phone
Here are some common excuses for phone problems:
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- My phone is old.
Consider why you dislike using our phone. Get someone you know 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 problem.
3. These Days it Seems As if Everybody Mumbles
It used to be only the kids, but recently, the news anchor, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to mumbling when they speak to you. It’s hard to believe that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation.
The more likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. One of the initial indications that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” drop off.
4. What Did You Say?
Only when 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 first to notice you have hearing loss are people close to you like coworkers or family members. Pay attention if someone says something about it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Maybe you can hear 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 may present the same problem. Even when you are in normal situations, something as basic as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things complicated. Those sounds 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, it’s much harder to comprehend what people are saying when you are in a noisy place. Something as routine as the AC coming on during dinner or the sound of people conversing around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Feel More Tired Than Usual
It’s can be exhausting struggling to understand what people are saying. You are more fatigued than normal because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. Your other senses may also experience changes. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to comprehend words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye exam was normal, then the next thing to get checked is your hearing.
8. That Dang TV
Instead of accusing the service provider when you need to keep turning the TV up, think about getting a hearing test. When you have hearing loss it can be difficult to hear dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing might be faltering.
A professional hearing exam will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. If you find out your hearing is declining, hearing aids can get things back to normal.