It’s not like you simply wake up one morning, 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. Usually, the change isn’t even recognized until after the age of 75. You may not realize the problem right away even though some symptoms show up earlier.
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. You might have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Ears Ringing
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but people tend to ignore it unless it’s disruptive. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a common symptom of hearing loss.
The ringing can be periodic and only act up when triggered. As an example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.
It’s essential that you don’t neglect tinnitus because it is an indication that something is going on with your body. It might be hearing loss, but it may also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. If you want to know for certain, you will need to consult your doctor.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
It’s not hard to make excuses for phone issues like:
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
- I have an out dated phone.
If you hate talking on the phone consider the reasons why. Get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still can’t hear it. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing issue.
3. It Seems As if Everyone Mumbles These Days
Lately, it’s not only the kids, but your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. It’s hard to imagine 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?
Only after someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you begin to recognize that you can’t hear conversations as well anymore. Usually, the first to recognize you have hearing loss are people close to you like coworkers or family members. If someone says something about it, pay attention.
5. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others
Maybe you can hear the neighbor fine, but when his wife starts talking, everything gets messed up. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or injury to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a common symptom.
Her voice isn’t as clear because it’s higher pitched. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even things like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those tones are high pitched, as well.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be
Again, there are those people who mumble, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much more difficult to comprehend what people are saying when it’s noisy. 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 Never Used to Feel This Tired
It’s can be draining struggling to understand what people are saying. Your brain has to work extra hard to process what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than usual. Your other senses may also undergo changes. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to understand words? It’s time to have your ears tested if your eye examination came back okay.
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. It can be hard to hear people talking on TV shows when you suffer from loss of hearing. There is the background music confusing things, for example. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other noises in the room. Your hearing is most likely beginning 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. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that your hearing has declined.