It’s not as if 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. Some signs show up earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is an issue immediately.
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. You can’t recognize the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. Think about these eight barely noticeable indicators that you could have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but people tend to ignore it unless it’s distracting. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a typical indication of hearing loss.
Triggers are a major factor with tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. For example, maybe the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.
It’s important that you don’t neglect tinnitus because it is a symptom 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 Dread Talking on The Phone
It’s easy to make excuses for phone problems like:
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- I have an old phone.
Consider why you dislike using our phone. If you have 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 As if Everybody Mumbles
Lately, it’s not only your kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have begun to mumble to you. Could it actually be true that all of a sudden everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
It’s much more probable that you might not be hearing words in the same way. Mumbling or dropped off consonants such as “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is changing.
4. What Did You Say?
You might not even realize that you can’t hear conversations any more until someone points out that you say “What? a lot. 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 you can understand the neighbor fine, but when his wife joins the conversation, 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 is a higher pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You may have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those tones are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Once Was
Again, there are those people who mumble, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much harder to understand what people are saying when it’s noisy. 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 so Tired
It’s can be fatiguing struggling to comprehend what people are saying. 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 comprehend words? If your last eye examination was normal, then the next thing to get checked is your hearing.
8. That Dang TV
Instead of accusing the service provider when you have to keep cranking the TV up, consider getting a hearing test. When you have loss of hearing it can be hard to follow dialog. For example, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound unclear. And don’t forget about the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing might be faltering.
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.