You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. 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. Usually, the change isn’t even noticed until after the age of 75. You might not realize the trouble right away even though some signs show up earlier.
Early hearing loss has gradual and subtle signs. 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 clues that you may have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but people tend to ignore it unless it’s disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a common symptom of hearing loss.
The ringing can be intermittent and only act up when triggered. As an example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens when you first get up or when you are tired.
Tinnitus is an indicator that something else is going on with your body so it should never be ignored. It could be hearing loss, but it might 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 Dread Talking on The Phone
It’s easy to make excuses for phone issues like:
- I have an out dated phone.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
If you hate using the phone think about the reasons why. 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. It Seems As if Everyone Mumbles Now
Lately, it’s not only your kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. Could it actually be true that all of a sudden everyone in your life 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 signs that your hearing is changing.
Only when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you begin to recognize that you can’t hear conversations as well anymore. Usually, the first to notice you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. If someone comments on it, pay attention.
5. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others
Maybe when you are having a chat with the neighbor everything sounds fine but when his wife starts to talk you can’t make out a word. It’s a common symptom of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice is higher pitched, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. Your daughter or grandchild might 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, 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 conversing around you or the AC comes on.
7. You Are More Tired Than Usual
It’s can be fatiguing struggling to comprehend what people are saying. You are more tired than normal because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. You may 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? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye examination came back okay.
8. That Dang TV
Instead of accusing the service provider when you have to keep turning the TV up, consider getting a hearing test. When you have hearing loss it can be hard to hear dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for example. And don’t forget about the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. Your hearing is most likely starting to fail if you need to keep turning the volume up.
The good news is all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing examination. If you find out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids will get things back to normal.