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. Often, the change isn’t even recognized until after the age of 75. You might not detect the problem right away even though some symptoms show up earlier.
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. Think about these eight barely noticeable clues that you may have hearing loss.
1. Ringing in The Ears
This is one that people have a tendency to ignore if it doesn’t become too distracting and it’s actually not that subtle. The medical term for this ringing is tinnitus, a common sign of hearing loss.
The ringing can be sporadic and only act up when triggered. As an example, maybe the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.
It’s important that you don’t neglect tinnitus because it is an indication that something is going on with your body. It may be hearing loss, but it may also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. You won’t know for certain until you see your doctor, though.
2. You Dread Talking on The Phone
Here are some common excuses for phone problems:
- My phone is out dated.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
Consider why you dread using 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 you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing problem.
3. It Seems Like Everybody Mumbles These Days
Recently, it’s not only your kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have begun to mumble to you. Could it really be possible 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 indications that your hearing is changing.
Only after 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 recognize 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 Perfectly Fine But Not Others
Maybe when you are having a chat with your neighbor everything sounds okay but when his wife joins in 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 isn’t as clear because it’s a higher pitch. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those sounds are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much harder to comprehend 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 Never Used to Feel so Tired
It’s can be draining struggling to comprehend what people are saying. You are more exhausted than normal because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. You might even observe 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? If your last eye exam was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
8. That Dang 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 test. When you have loss of hearing it can be difficult to follow 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. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing could be faltering.
The good news is all you need to do to know for certain is a professional hearing exam. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.