You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one day when you wake up. Hearing loss comes in degrees for most people, particularly when it comes to aging. Age-related hearing loss affects about one in three people in this country. Often, the change isn’t even recognized until after the age of 75. You might not detect the trouble immediately even though some symptoms show up earlier.
The early 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. However, if you don’t know what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. You might have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Ears Ringing
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s disruptive. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a common symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are a considerable factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. Maybe the ringing only takes place when your tired or when you first get up for example.
Tinnitus is a sign 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 certain until you see your doctor, though.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
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.
- I have an old phone.
If you hate using the phone think about the reasons why. If you turn the volume all the way up and can’t understand what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the problem.
3. It Seems As if Everybody 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. It’s hard to believe that everyone you deal with suddenly has poor enunciation.
The most likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. One of the first signs that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” drop off.
4. What Did You Say?
Only after someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to realize 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. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Perhaps when you are having a chat with your neighbor everything sounds fine but when his wife joins in 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 normal symptom.
Her voice is higher pitched, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same issue. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those tones are high pitched, also.
6. Going Out Used to be Much More Fun
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes comprehending what people say that much harder. Something as simple as the AC coming on during dinner or the sound of people talking around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Feel More Tired Than Usual
It’s can be exhausting struggling to understand what people are saying. You are more fatigued than normal because your brain is working harder to process what it hears. Your other senses might also undergo changes. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to comprehend words? 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 have to keep cranking the TV up, consider getting a hearing test. When you have loss of hearing it can be difficult to follow dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. What about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is probably starting to falter if you have to keep turning up the volume.
The good news is all it takes 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.