It’s not like you just wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. For most people, loss of hearing comes in degrees, especially when it is related 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 earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is a problem right away.
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 recognize the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. You could have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Ears Ringing
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but people tend to ignore it unless it’s distracting. The medical term for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are a major factor with tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. Perhaps the ringing only takes place when your tired or when you first get up for instance.
Tinnitus is an indicator that something else is going on with your body so it should never be neglected. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be induced by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. You won’t know for sure until you see your doctor, though.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
Here are some common excuses for phone problems:
- I have an old phone.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
Consider why you dislike talking on our phone. Get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still don’t hear it. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the 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 mumbling when they talk to you. It’s difficult 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.
4. What Did You Say?
Only when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to recognize that you can’t hear conversations very well anymore. Usually, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice you are having difficulties hearing. If someone says something about it, pay attention.
5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others
Maybe when you are having a chat with your neighbor everything sounds okay but when his wife starts to talk you can’t understand a word. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or injury to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a common symptom.
Her voice isn’t as clear because it’s a higher pitch. Your daughter or grandchild might present the same problem. Even when you are in normal situations, something as basic as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things difficult. Those tones are high pitched, also.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, it’s much harder 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 chatting around you or the AC comes on.
7. You Are More Tired Than Normal
It’s can be draining struggling to comprehend what people are saying. Your brain has to work overtime to manage what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than usual. Your other senses may also experience changes. 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 exam was normal, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
Instead of blaming the service provider when you need to keep cranking the TV up, consider getting a hearing exam. When you have hearing loss it can be hard to hear dialog. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. And don’t forget about the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing might be faltering.
A professional hearing test will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.