It’s not as if you simply wake up one morning, and your hearing is gone. For most people, hearing loss comes in degrees, especially when it comes 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 may not detect the trouble right away even though some signs show up earlier.
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 don’t know what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. You may have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Ringing in The Ears
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s distracting. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical sign of hearing loss.
The ringing can be sporadic and only act up when triggered. Perhaps the ringing only takes place when your tired or in the morning for example.
Tinnitus is an indicator 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. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
Here are some common excuses for phone problems:
- My phone is out dated.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
Consider why you dislike using our phone. 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. It Seems As if Everyone Mumbles These Days
Lately, it’s not only the kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. It’s difficult to believe that everyone you deal with suddenly has poor enunciation.
It’s much more likely that you may not be hearing words in the same way. One of the initial signs that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” drop off.
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 recognize you are struggling to hear. Pay attention if someone says something about it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Maybe when you are having a conversation with your neighbor everything sounds fine but when his wife joins in you can’t make out a word. It’s a common sign of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice isn’t as clear because it’s higher pitched. You may have the same issue 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 Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes understanding what people say a big challenge. Something as routine as the AC popping on during dinner or the sound of people conversing around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Never Used to Feel so Tired
Struggling to understand words is tiring. Your brain has to work extra hard to process what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than usual. You might even observe changes in your other senses. If your brain is using 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye examination was okay, then the next thing to get checked is your hearing.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
It’s easy to blame the TV or the service provider when you have to keep cranking up the volume, but if this is going on 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 unclear. How about the other sounds in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is probably beginning to falter if you need to keep turning the volume up.
A professional hearing test will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. If it turns out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids will get things back to normal.