It’s not like you just wake up one morning, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss comes gradually over time for most people, particularly 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 right away even though some symptoms 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’re not sure what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. You may have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.
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 term for the ringing, is a common indication of hearing loss.
The ringing can be sporadic and only act up when triggered. Perhaps the ringing only takes place when your tired or when you first get up for instance.
It’s essential that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is an indication that something is going on with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be induced by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. If you want to know for certain, you will need to see your doctor.
2. You Hate Talking on The Phone
It’s not hard to make excuses for phone problems like:
- I have an out dated phone.
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
Think about why you dread 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 they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are the problem.
3. It Seems As if Everybody Mumbles Now
It used to be just the kids, but lately, the lady on the TV news, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to muttering when they talk to you. It’s hard to believe that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation.
It’s much more likely that you might 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.
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. Usually, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are having difficulties hearing. If someone says something about it, pay attention.
5. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others
Maybe you can hear the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife starts talking, everything gets messed up. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a normal symptom.
Her voice isn’t as clear because it’s a higher pitch. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same issue. Even when you are in common situations, something as simple as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things difficult. Those tones are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be
Even worse are the people who actually mumble. Also, it’s much more difficult to comprehend what people are saying when you are in a noisy place. 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
Battling to comprehend words is fatiguing. You are more tired than normal because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. Your other senses may 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 test was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your hearing.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
Instead of blaming the service provider when you have to keep turning the TV up, think about getting a hearing test. It can be difficult to hear the dialog on TV shows when you suffer from loss of hearing. For example, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound unclear. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing may be faltering.
A professional hearing exam will tell you for sure and that’s the good news. If it turns out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids will get things back to normal.