You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one day when you wake up. Hearing loss happens 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. Often, the change isn’t even recognized until after the age of 75. You may not realize the trouble right away even though some signs show up earlier.
Early hearing loss has gradual 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. Think about these eight barely noticeable clues that you could have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s distracting. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing, is a common symptom of hearing loss.
The ringing can be intermittent and only act up when triggered. Perhaps the ringing only takes place when your tired or in the morning for example.
It’s essential that you don’t neglect tinnitus because it is an indication that something is happening with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be caused by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. If you want to know for certain, you will need to consult your doctor.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
Here are some common excuses for phone problems:
- My phone is out dated.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
If you hate talking on the phone consider the reasons why. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t understand what is being said, let a friend 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
Recently, it’s not only the kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. Could it actually be possible that suddenly everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
It’s much more probable that you may not be hearing words in the same way. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is changing.
You may not even realize that you can’t hear conversations any more until somebody points out that you say “What? a lot. Usually, the first to recognize you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. Pay attention if someone comments on it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Perhaps you can hear the neighbor fine, but when his wife starts talking, everything gets muddled up. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a common symptom.
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You might have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those tones are high pitched, also.
6. Going Out Used to be Much More Fun
Worse yet 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. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start conversing around you or the AC pops on.
7. You Are More Tired Than Usual
Battling to comprehend words is fatiguing. You are more fatigued than normal because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. You might even notice changes in your other senses. If your brain is using 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 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 difficult to follow people talking on TV shows when you have loss of hearing. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. What about the other sounds in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing may be failing.
A professional hearing test will tell you for sure and that’s the good news. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.