It’s not like you just wake up one morning, and your hearing is gone. 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 notice a change. You may not detect the trouble right away 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. You may be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.
1. Ringing in The Ears
This is one that people have a tendency to neglect if it doesn’t become too distracting and it’s really not that subtle. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a common indication of hearing loss.
Triggers are a significant factor with 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 ignored. It may be hearing loss, but it could also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. You won’t know for sure until you consult your doctor, though.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
Here are some common excuses for phone issues:
- My phone is out dated.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
Consider why you dislike talking on our phone. If you turn the volume all the way up and can’t comprehend what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are the 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. It’s difficult to believe that everyone in your life 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 when 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 notice 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 when you are having a chat with the neighbor everything sounds fine but when his wife starts to talk you can’t make out a word. 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 a higher pitch. You might 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, also.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much harder to comprehend what people are saying when you are in a noisy place. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start chatting around you or the AC pops on.
7. You Never Used to Feel so Tired
Battling to comprehend words is fatiguing. Your brain has to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than usual. Your other senses may also experience 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 normal.
8. That Darn TV
It is easy to blame the TV or the service provider when you have to keep cranking up the volume, but if this is happening all the time, maybe it’s time for a hearing exam. When you have loss of hearing it can be hard to follow dialog. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing could be faltering.
The good news is all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing test. If you find out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will get things back to normal.