You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss gradually over time, especially 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 sooner, though, and you may not realize there is an issue immediately.
The initial symptoms of progressive 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. However, if you don’t know what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. Think about these eight barely noticeable clues that you could have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but people tend to ignore it unless it’s disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a typical sign of hearing loss.
Triggers are a considerable factor in tinnitus so it can be sporadic, too. Perhaps the ringing only takes place 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 certain until you see your doctor, though.
2. You Dread Talking on The Phone
It’s not hard to make excuses for phone issues like:
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- My phone is old.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology 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 don’t hear it. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the problem.
3. These Days it Seems Like Everyone 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 you deal with suddenly has poor enunciation.
The most likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. Mumbling or dropped off consonants such as “S” or “T” is one of the first indications that your hearing is changing.
4. What Did You Say?
You may not even realize that you can’t hear conversations any more until someone points out that you say “What? a lot. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are having difficulties hearing. Pay attention if someone comments on it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Perhaps when you are having a conversation with your neighbor everything sounds fine but when his wife starts to talk you can’t understand 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 is higher pitched, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. Your daughter or grandchild might present the same problem. Even things like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those sounds are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Used to be Much More Fun
Worse yet 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 pops on.
7. You Are More Tired Than Usual
Struggling to understand words is fatiguing. Your brain has to work overtime to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than normal. Your other senses might also undergo 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 examination was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your hearing.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
Rather than blaming the service provider when you have to keep turning the TV up, think about getting a hearing test. It can be hard to follow the dialog on TV shows when you suffer from hearing loss. There is the background music confusing things, for example. How about the other stuff in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is most likely starting to fail if you need to keep turning the volume up.
The good news is all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing examination. If you find out your hearing is declining, hearing aids can get things back to normal.