You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. For most people, loss of hearing comes in degrees, 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. You might not realize the trouble immediately even though some signs show up earlier.
Early hearing loss has progressive 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. You can’t identify the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. Consider these eight barely noticeable signs that you might have hearing loss.
1. Ringing in The Ears
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but people tend to ignore it unless it’s disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing, is a common indication of hearing loss.
The ringing can be sporadic and only act up when triggered. For example, maybe the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens when you first get up or when you are tired.
Tinnitus is an indicator that something else is happening with your body so it should never be ignored. 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. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
Here are some common excuses for phone issues:
- My phone is old.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
Think about why you dislike using our phone. Get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is up and you still don’t hear it. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing issue.
3. These Days it Seems Like Everybody Mumbles
Lately, it’s not only the kids, but your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. Could it actually be true that suddenly everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
The most 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.
Only when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to recognize that you can’t hear conversations as well anymore. Usually, the first to recognize you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. If someone says something about it, pay attention.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Maybe you can hear the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled up. It’s a common sign 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. You may have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those sounds are high pitched, as well.
6. Going Out Used to be Much More Fun
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, it’s much harder to comprehend what people are saying when it’s noisy. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start conversing around you or the AC pops on.
7. You Feel More Tired Than Normal
It’s can be draining struggling to comprehend what people are saying. Your brain has to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more tired than normal. You might even observe changes in your other senses. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to comprehend words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye examination came back okay.
8. You Can’t Hear The 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. It can be tough to hear the dialog on TV shows when you have hearing loss. 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 starting to fail if you need to keep turning up the volume.
A professional hearing test 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.