It’s not like you just wake up one morning, and your hearing is gone. For most people, hearing loss 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 recognize a change. You might not realize the trouble right away even though some symptoms 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. Think about these eight barely noticeable indicators that you might have hearing loss.
1. Ringing in The Ears
This is a symptom that people have a tendency to ignore if it doesn’t become too disruptive and it’s really not very subtle. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a typical indication of hearing loss.
The ringing can be periodic and only act up when triggered. Perhaps the ringing only happens when your tired or in the morning for example.
It’s essential 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 caused by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. You won’t know for sure until you consult your doctor, though.
2. You Dread Talking on The Phone
It’s easy to make excuses for phone problems like:
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
- My phone is out dated.
If you hate using the phone consider the reasons why. Get someone you know to test the phone for you if the volume is up and you still can’t hear it. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing problem.
3. These Days it Seems As if Everyone Mumbles
Recently, it’s not only the kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. It’s hard to imagine 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 somebody points out that you say “What? a lot. Usually, the first to notice you have hearing loss are people close to you like coworkers or family members. If someone comments on it, pay attention.
5. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others
Perhaps you can understand the neighbor fine, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled up. It’s a common sign 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. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same issue. Even things like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those sounds are high pitched, also.
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, being in noisy places makes understanding what people say a big challenge. Something as simple as the AC coming on during dinner or the sound of people conversing around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Never Used to Feel This Tired
Battling to comprehend words is tiring. Your brain has to work extra hard to process what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than normal. You might even observe changes in your other senses. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to comprehend words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye examination was okay, then the next thing to get tested is your hearing.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
Rather than accusing the service provider when you need to keep cranking the TV up, consider getting a hearing test. It can be tough to follow people talking on TV shows when you have hearing loss. There is the background music confusing things, for example. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other noises in the room. Your hearing is most likely beginning to falter if you have to keep turning up the volume.
A professional hearing exam will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. If you find out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will get things back to normal.