You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss comes in degrees, especially when it is related 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 detect the problem right away even though some symptoms show up earlier.
Early hearing loss has progressive 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 don’t know what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. Consider these eight barely noticeable clues that you could have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
This is one that people tend to ignore if it doesn’t get too disruptive and it’s really not very subtle. The medical term for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are a considerable factor with tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. Perhaps the ringing only occurs when your tired or when you first get up for instance.
It’s crucial 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 caused by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. You won’t know for certain until you consult your doctor, though.
2. You Dread Talking on The Phone
It’s easy to make excuses for phone problems like:
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- My phone is old.
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 someone else test the phone for you. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing issue.
3. These Days it Seems As if Everybody Mumbles
Recently, it’s not only your kids, but your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. It’s hard to believe that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation.
It’s much more likely that you may not be hearing words in the same way. One of the first signs that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” drop off.
4. What Did You Say?
Only when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you begin to realize that you can’t hear conversations as well anymore. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are having difficulties hearing. Pay attention if someone comments on it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Maybe when you are having a conversation with the neighbor everything sounds fine but when his wife starts to talk you can’t understand a word. 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 is higher pitched, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You may have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even things 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 people who mumble, and that’s not fun. Also, being in noisy places makes understanding what people say a big challenge. Something as routine as the AC coming on during dinner or the sound of people chatting around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Are More Tired Than Normal
It’s can be fatiguing struggling to understand what people are saying. You are more tired than usual because your brain is working harder to process what it hears. Your other senses may also undergo changes. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to understand words? It’s time to have your ears tested if your eye exam came back normal.
8. You Can’t Hear The 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, perhaps it’s time for a hearing exam. It can be tough to hear people talking on TV shows when you have loss of hearing. There is the background music confusing things, for example. What about the other stuff in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is probably beginning to falter if you have to keep turning the volume up.
A professional hearing test will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. If it turns out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids can get things back to normal.