It’s not as if you simply wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. For most people, loss of hearing gradually over time, 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 notice a change. Some signs show up sooner, though, and you may not realize there is a problem right away.
The early symptoms 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. However, if you’re not sure what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. Think about these eight barely noticeable indicators that you could have hearing loss.
1. Ringing in The Ears
Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s distracting. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a typical symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are a considerable factor in tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. For instance, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens when you first get up or when you are tired.
Tinnitus is a sign that something else is happening with your body so it should never be neglected. 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. You Hate Talking on The Phone
Here are some common excuses for phone problems:
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
- My phone is out dated.
Consider why you dread talking on our phone. Get someone you know to test the phone for you if the volume is all the way 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 Everybody 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 believe that everyone you deal with suddenly has poor enunciation.
The most 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 indications that your hearing is changing.
You may not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations any more until somebody points out that you say “What? a lot. Usually, the first to notice you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. If someone comments on it, pay attention.
5. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others
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 common symptom.
Her voice isn’t as clear because it’s higher pitched. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even when you are in common situations, something as simple as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things complicated. Those tones are high pitched, also.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Once Was
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. 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 talking around you or the AC pops on.
7. You Never Used to Feel This Tired
It’s can be draining struggling to understand what people are saying. You are more tired than normal because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. You may even notice changes in your other senses. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to understand words? If your last eye test was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
8. That Darn 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. When you have hearing loss it can be difficult to hear dialog. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. 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 failing.
A professional hearing exam 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.