You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss comes in degrees, 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. Some symptoms show up sooner, though, and you may not notice 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 identify 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. 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 name for this ringing is tinnitus, a common sign of hearing loss.
The ringing can be intermittent and only act up when triggered. Perhaps the ringing only happens when your tired or in the morning for instance.
It’s important that you don’t ignore 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 consult your doctor, though.
2. You Hate Talking on The Phone
It’s easy to make excuses for phone issues like:
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- I have an out dated phone.
If you dislike 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 a friend test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are the issue.
3. These Days it Seems As if Everybody Mumbles
It used to be just the kids, but lately, the lady on the TV news, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to muttering when they talk to you. Could it actually be true that all of a sudden everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
The most 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?
You might not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations any more until someone points out that you say “What? a lot. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are having difficulties hearing. If someone comments on it, pay attention.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
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. It’s a common sign of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even when you are in normal situations, something as simple as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things difficult. Those tones are also high pitched.
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 more difficult to understand 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 Feel More Tired Than Normal
Struggling to comprehend words is tiring. Your brain has to work extra hard to process what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than usual. You may even observe changes in your other senses. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye examination was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
8. That Dang TV
Instead of blaming the service provider when you need to keep cranking the TV up, think about getting a hearing exam. When you have hearing loss it can be difficult to hear dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for example. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing could be faltering.
A professional hearing exam will tell you for sure and that’s the good news. If you find out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids will get things back to normal.