You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. 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. Often, the change isn’t even noticed until after the age of 75. Some signs show up sooner, though, and you may not notice there is a problem 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. You may be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.
1. Ringing in The Ears
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but people tend to ignore it unless it’s disruptive. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are a major factor in tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. Perhaps the ringing only takes place when your tired or in the morning for example.
Tinnitus is an indicator that something else is happening with your body so it should never be ignored. It could be hearing loss, but it may also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. If you want to know for certain, you will need to see your doctor.
2. You Hate Talking on The Phone
It’s easy to make excuses for phone problems like:
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
- My phone is out dated.
If you hate using the phone think about the reasons why. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t understand what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the problem.
3. These Days it Seems As if Everyone Mumbles
It used to be only the kids, but recently, the news anchor, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to muttering when they talk to you. It’s difficult to believe that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation.
It’s more probable that you might not be hearing words in the same way. One of the first indications that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants such as “S” and “T” drop off.
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 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 you can understand the neighbor fine, but when his wife starts talking, everything gets muddled up. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or injury 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 issue with your grandchild or daughter. Even when you are in normal situations, something as simple as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things complicated. Those tones are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun
Again, there are those people who mumble, and that’s not fun. 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 Feel More Tired Than Normal
Struggling to comprehend words is tiring. You are more exhausted than normal because your brain is working harder to process what it hears. Your other senses may also undergo changes. 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 examination came back normal.
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, maybe it’s time for a hearing exam. When you have hearing loss it can be hard to follow dialog. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. How about the other sounds in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is most likely starting to fail if you have to keep turning up the volume.
The good news is all you need to do to know for certain is a professional hearing test. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.