You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. Hearing loss happens in degrees for most people, particularly when it comes to aging. Age-related hearing loss affects about one in three people in this country. Often, the change isn’t even noticed until after the age of 75. You might not realize the trouble 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. You may have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.
1. Ears Ringing
This is a symptom that people have a tendency to neglect if it doesn’t get too distracting and it’s really not very subtle. The medical term for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical sign of hearing loss.
The ringing can be sporadic and only act up when triggered. Maybe the ringing only takes place when your tired or in the morning for example.
Tinnitus is a sign that something else is going on with your body so it should never be ignored. It might be hearing loss, but it might also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. You won’t know for sure until you see your doctor, though.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
Here are some common excuses for phone problems:
- My phone is out dated.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
If you hate talking on the phone think about the reasons why. If you turn the volume all the way up and can’t comprehend what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are the issue.
3. These Days it Seems Like Everyone Mumbles
It used to be only the kids, but recently, the news anchor, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to mumbling when they speak to you. It’s hard to believe that everyone you deal with suddenly has poor enunciation.
The more likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. One of the initial indications that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants such as “S” and “T” drop off.
Only when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you begin to recognize that you can’t hear conversations very 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. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others
Maybe you can understand the neighbor fine, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets messed up. It’s a common sign of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical messages to the brain.
Her voice isn’t as clear because it’s higher pitched. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those tones are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Used to be Much More Fun
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes understanding what people say that much harder. Something as routine as the AC popping on during dinner or the sound of people conversing around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Feel More Tired Than Normal
Battling to comprehend words is exhausting. Your brain has to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more tired than normal. You may even observe changes in your other senses. If your brain is using 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye test was okay, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
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 happening all the time, perhaps it’s time for a hearing test. It can be hard to follow people talking on TV shows when you suffer from loss of hearing. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound unclear. How about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing could be faltering.
A professional hearing exam will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. If you find out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids can get things back to normal.