You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one day when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss gradually over time, 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 may not realize the problem immediately even though some symptoms show up earlier.
The initial signs of progressive 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. Consider these eight barely noticeable signs that you may have hearing loss.
1. Ringing in The Ears
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s distracting. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a common sign of hearing loss.
Triggers are a significant factor in tinnitus so it can be sporadic, too. Maybe the ringing only takes place when your tired or in the morning for instance.
It’s essential that you don’t neglect tinnitus because it is an indication that something is going on with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be induced by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. You won’t know for certain until you see your doctor, though.
2. You Hate Talking on The Phone
It’s not hard to make excuses for phone problems like:
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- My phone is out dated.
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 up and you still don’t hear it. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing problem.
3. These Days it Seems Like Everybody Mumbles
Lately, it’s not only the kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. Could it really 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 such as “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is changing.
4. What Did You Say?
You might not even realize 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 you see every day like coworkers or family members. Pay attention if someone says something about it.
5. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others
Maybe 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 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 common situations, something as basic as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things complicated. Those sounds are high pitched, as well.
6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun
Again, there are those people who mumble, and that’s not fun. Also, being in noisy places makes understanding what people say that much harder. Something as simple as the AC popping on during dinner or the sound of people conversing around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Never Used to Feel so Tired
It’s can be draining struggling to comprehend what people are saying. Your brain has to work extra hard to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. You may even notice changes in your other senses. 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 tested if your eye exam came back okay.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
It is easy to blame the TV or the service provider when you have to keep cranking up the volume, but if this is going on all the time, maybe it’s time for a hearing exam. When you have loss of hearing it can be difficult to hear dialog. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. How about the other stuff in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is most likely beginning to falter if you need to keep turning the volume up.
A professional hearing test will tell you for sure and that’s the good news. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that your hearing has declined.