You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one day when you wake up. Hearing loss happens in degrees for most people, 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 might not realize the problem right away 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. You can’t identify the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. You may have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Ringing in The Ears
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but people tend to ignore it unless it’s distracting. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a common sign of hearing loss.
Triggers are a major factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. For instance, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens when you first get up or when you are tired.
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 Dread Talking on The Phone
It’s not hard to make excuses for phone problems like:
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
- I have an out dated phone.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
Think about why you dread using our phone. If you have 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 problem.
3. It Seems Like Everyone Mumbles These Days
It used to be only 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. Could it really be possible that all of a sudden everyone in your life 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.
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. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are struggling to hear. Pay attention if someone comments on it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Maybe you can understand the neighbor fine, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled up. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a common symptom.
Her voice is a higher pitch, 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 throw a loop into things. Those sounds are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Once Was
Even worse are the people who actually mumble. Also, it’s much harder 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
It’s can be draining struggling to comprehend what people are saying. You are more fatigued than normal because your brain is working harder to process what it hears. 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? It’s time to have your ears tested if your eye examination came back okay.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
It’s 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. It can be difficult to follow people talking on TV shows when you suffer from loss of hearing. There is the background music confusing things, for example. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other noises 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 examination. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.