You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. Hearing loss comes 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 earlier, though, and you may not realize there is a problem immediately.
The initial 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 may have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
This is one that people have a tendency to neglect if it doesn’t get too disruptive and it’s actually not that subtle. 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. Maybe the ringing only takes place when your tired or in the morning for instance.
It’s crucial that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is an indication that something is happening with your body. It may be hearing loss, but it might 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. You Dread Talking on The Phone
It’s not hard to make excuses for phone issues like:
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
- I have an old phone.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
Think about why you dread talking on 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. These Days it Seems Like 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 talk to you. Could it actually be possible that all of a sudden 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 signs that your hearing is changing.
4. What Did You Say?
Only when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to realize that you can’t hear conversations very well anymore. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are struggling to hear. Pay attention if someone comments on it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Perhaps you can understand the neighbor fine, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets messed up. It’s a common symptom of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same issue. Even when you are in normal situations, something as simple as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things difficult. Those sounds are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Once Was
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. 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 talking around you or the AC comes on.
7. You Never Used to Feel so Tired
Struggling to comprehend words is fatiguing. You are more tired than usual because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. Your other senses might also experience changes. If your brain is using 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye examination came back normal.
8. That Dang 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 hearing loss it can be difficult to hear dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for example. How about the other stuff in the room like 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 certain is a professional hearing examination. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.