You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. For most people, loss of hearing comes in degrees, 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 notice a change. You might not detect the trouble immediately even though some symptoms show up earlier.
The early 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. However, if you’re not sure what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. You could have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Ringing in The Ears
This is a symptom that people tend to neglect if it doesn’t get too distracting and it’s really not that subtle. Tinnitus, the medical name 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 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 induced by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. 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 problems:
- I have an old phone.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
If you dislike using 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 don’t hear it. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the issue.
3. These Days it Seems As if Everyone 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 talk to you. Could it actually be true that suddenly everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
The most likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. One of the initial signs that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” drop off.
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 recognize you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. If someone comments on it, pay attention.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Perhaps when you are having a conversation with your neighbor everything sounds fine 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 isn’t as clear because it’s higher pitched. You may have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. 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 sounds are high pitched, also.
6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. Also, being in noisy places makes comprehending what people say a big challenge. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start talking around you or the AC pops on.
7. You Feel More Tired Than Normal
Struggling to understand words is fatiguing. Your brain has to work overtime to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. You may even notice changes in your other senses. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to comprehend words? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye exam came back okay.
8. You Can’t Hear The 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, perhaps it’s time for a hearing exam. It can be hard to follow the dialog on TV shows when you have hearing loss. For example, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. What about the other sounds in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is most likely beginning to falter if you need to keep turning up the volume.
The good news is all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing examination. If you find out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids will get things back to normal.