You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. Hearing loss comes in degrees for most people, especially when it comes to aging. Age-related hearing loss affects about one in three people in this country. Often, the change isn’t even recognized until after the age of 75. Some symptoms show up sooner, though, and you may not realize there is an issue right away.
The early 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. However, if you don’t know what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. You may have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Ears Ringing
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but people tend to ignore it unless it’s disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing, is a typical indication of hearing loss.
Triggers are a major factor with tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. As an example, maybe the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.
It’s essential that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is happening 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
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.
- I have an old phone.
Consider why you dislike using our phone. Get someone else 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. These Days it Seems Like Everybody Mumbles
Recently, it’s not only your kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have begun to mumble to you. It’s hard to believe 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 like “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is changing.
4. What Did You Say?
You may not even realize 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 having difficulties hearing. Pay attention if someone comments on it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Perhaps you can hear the neighbor fine, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets messed 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 isn’t as clear because it’s a higher pitch. You may have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. 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 also high pitched.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much harder to comprehend 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 comes on.
7. You Are More Tired Than Normal
Battling to comprehend words is exhausting. You are more exhausted than normal because your brain is working harder to process what it hears. You may even observe changes in your other senses. 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 test was normal, then the next thing to get checked is your hearing.
8. That Dang 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 going on all the time, perhaps it’s time for a hearing test. When you have loss of hearing it can be hard to hear dialog. For example, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound unclear. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. Your hearing is most likely beginning to falter if you need to keep turning the volume up.
A professional hearing exam will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. If it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids can get things back to normal.