You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one day when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss gradually over time, especially when it is related 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. Some signs show up sooner, though, and you may not realize there is an issue right away.
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. Consider these eight barely noticeable indicators that you might 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 disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a common symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are a major factor with tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. Perhaps the ringing only occurs when your tired or in the morning for example.
Tinnitus is a sign 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. You Hate Talking on The Phone
It’s easy to make excuses for phone issues like:
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
- My phone is old.
Think about why you dread using our phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t comprehend 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 As if Everybody Mumbles
It used to be just the kids, but recently, the lady on the TV news, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to muttering when they speak to you. Could it really be true that all of a sudden everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
The more likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is changing.
4. What Did You Say?
You may not even recognize 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. If someone says something about it, pay attention.
5. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others
Maybe when you are having a chat with the neighbor everything sounds okay but when his wife starts to talk you can’t make out a word. It’s a common symptom of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice is higher pitched, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even when you are in normal situations, something as basic as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things complicated. Those sounds are high pitched, also.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, it’s much harder to understand 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 talking around you or the AC pops on.
7. You Never Used to Feel This Tired
It’s can be fatiguing struggling to comprehend what people are saying. You are more fatigued than normal because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. Your other senses may also undergo changes. If your brain is using 110 percent of its time and energy to understand 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 Darn TV
Rather than blaming the service provider when you need to keep turning the TV up, think about getting a hearing test. When you have hearing loss it can be hard to follow dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. How about the other sounds in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is probably beginning to fail if you need to keep turning up the volume.
The good news is all you need to do to know for certain is a professional hearing test. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.