It’s not like you just wake up one morning, and your hearing is gone. For most people, loss of hearing 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 earlier, though, and you may not notice there is a problem immediately.
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 identify the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. You might have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.
1. Ears Ringing
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s disruptive. The medical term for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are a significant factor in tinnitus so it can be sporadic, too. Maybe the ringing only occurs when your tired or when you first get up for example.
Tinnitus is a sign that something else is happening with your body so it should never be ignored. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be caused by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. If you want to know for certain, you will need to consult your doctor.
2. You Dread Talking on The Phone
It’s easy to make excuses for phone problems like:
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
- I have an out dated phone.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
If you dislike talking on the phone consider the reasons why. If you turn the volume all the way up and can’t comprehend what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are the problem.
3. It Seems As if Everyone Mumbles These Days
It used to be just 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. It’s hard to imagine that everyone you deal with suddenly has poor enunciation.
It’s more probable that you may not be hearing words in the same way. Mumbling or dropped off consonants such as “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is changing.
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 struggling to hear. Pay attention if someone comments on it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Perhaps you can understand the neighbor fine, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled up. 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’s not as clear. Your daughter or grandchild might present the same problem. 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 high pitched, also.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Once Was
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. 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 exhausting struggling to comprehend what people are saying. You are more exhausted than normal because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. Your other senses may also undergo changes. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to comprehend words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye exam was okay, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
Rather than accusing the service provider when you need to keep turning the TV up, think about getting a hearing exam. When you have hearing loss it can be difficult to follow dialog. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound unclear. And don’t forget about the AC, ceiling fan or other noises in the room. Your hearing is most likely starting to falter if you have to keep turning up the volume.
A professional hearing test will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that your hearing has declined.