You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one day when you wake up. Hearing loss comes gradually over time for most people, particularly when it comes to aging. Age-related hearing loss affects about one in three people in this country. Usually, the change isn’t even recognized until after the age of 75. You might not realize the trouble immediately even though some signs show up earlier.
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. However, if you’re not sure what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. Consider these eight barely noticeable signs that you could have hearing loss.
1. Ringing in The Ears
This is a symptom that people tend to ignore if it doesn’t get too disruptive and it’s actually not that subtle. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a common symptom of hearing loss.
The ringing can be sporadic and only act up when triggered. For example, 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 ignore tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is going on with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be caused by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. If you want to know for sure, you will need to consult your doctor.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
It’s easy to make excuses for phone issues 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.
If you hate using the phone consider the reasons why. Get someone you know to test the phone for you if the volume is up and you still don’t hear it. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing issue.
3. It Seems Like Everyone Mumbles Now
Lately, it’s not only the kids, but your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have begun to mumble to you. It’s difficult to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly 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 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. Usually, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are having difficulties hearing. If someone says something about it, pay attention.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Maybe you can hear the neighbor fine, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled up. 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 isn’t as clear because it’s a higher pitch. Your daughter or grandchild might present the same issue. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those tones are high pitched, as well.
6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much harder to understand what people are saying when it’s noisy. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start chatting around you or the AC pops on.
7. You Are More Tired Than Usual
Battling to comprehend words is tiring. Your brain has to work overtime to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than normal. Your other senses may also experience changes. 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 okay, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
Instead of accusing the service provider when you need to keep turning the TV up, consider getting a hearing test. When you have loss of hearing it can be difficult to hear dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for example. How about the other stuff in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is most likely starting to falter if you need to keep turning up the volume.
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 can get things back to normal.