It’s not as if you simply wake up one morning, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss happens in degrees for most people, particularly 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 notice there is an issue right away.
The initial 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. You can’t recognize the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. Consider these eight barely noticeable signs that you might have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but people tend to ignore it unless it’s disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing, is a common symptom of hearing loss.
The ringing can be sporadic and only act up when triggered. Maybe 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 neglected. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be caused by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. If you want to know for sure, you will need to see your doctor.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
Here are some common excuses for phone issues:
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
- I have an out dated phone.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
If you hate talking on the phone think about the reasons why. Get someone you know to test the phone for you if the volume is up and you still don’t hear it. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing issue.
3. These Days it Seems Like Everybody Mumbles
It used to be just the kids, but recently, the news anchor, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to mumbling when they speak to you. Could it really be true that suddenly everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
It’s much more likely 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.
Only after someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you begin to recognize that you can’t hear conversations as well anymore. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice you are struggling to hear. If someone comments on it, pay attention.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Perhaps you can hear the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife starts talking, 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 common symptom.
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it’s not as clear. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those sounds are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun
Even worse 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 talking around you or the AC pops on.
7. You Are More Tired Than Usual
Battling to comprehend words is tiring. Your brain has to work overtime to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. Your other senses might 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 exam was okay, then the next thing to get tested is your hearing.
8. That Dang TV
Rather than blaming the service provider when you have to keep turning the TV up, think about getting a hearing test. When you have loss of hearing it can be hard to hear dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other noises 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 your hearing has declined.