It’s not as if you just wake up one morning, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss happens gradually over time for most people, 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. You may not realize the trouble immediately 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. You can’t identify the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. You could be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.
1. Ears Ringing
This is a symptom that people have a tendency to neglect if it doesn’t get too disruptive and it’s actually not very subtle. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical sign of hearing loss.
The ringing can be periodic and only act up when triggered. Perhaps the ringing only occurs when your tired or when you first get up for example.
Tinnitus is a sign that something else is going on with your body so it should never be ignored. It might be hearing loss, but it could also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. If you want to know for sure, you will need to see your doctor.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
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 dread talking on our phone. Get someone you know to test the phone for you if the volume is all the way 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 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. It’s difficult to believe that everyone in your life suddenly 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 indications that your hearing is changing.
You may not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations any more until someone points out that you say “What? a lot. Usually, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are having difficulties hearing. Pay attention if someone says something about it.
5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others
Perhaps when you are having a conversation with the neighbor everything sounds okay but when his wife starts to talk you can’t understand a word. 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. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same issue. Even things like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those tones are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Used to be Much More Fun
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes understanding what people say that much harder. 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 Usual
Battling to comprehend words is tiring. You are more exhausted than usual 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? If your last eye exam was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
8. That Darn TV
Rather than accusing the service provider when you have to keep cranking the TV up, think about getting a hearing test. It can be hard to follow people talking on TV shows when you suffer from hearing loss. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. And don’t forget about the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. Your hearing is probably starting to falter if you need to keep turning up the volume.
A professional hearing exam will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that your hearing has declined.