It’s not like you just wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. For most people, hearing loss comes in degrees, especially when it comes 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 symptoms show up sooner, though, and you may not notice there is a problem immediately.
Early hearing loss has progressive and subtle signs. Recognizing them as soon as possible is essential to slow down the progression of hearing loss or other health problems related to hearing loss. You can’t identify the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. Consider these eight barely noticeable signs that you might have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
This is one that people have a tendency to neglect if it doesn’t become too disruptive and it’s really not that subtle. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a common symptom of hearing loss.
The ringing can be sporadic and only act up when triggered. Perhaps the ringing only occurs when your tired or when you first get up for instance.
Tinnitus is an indicator that something else is going on with your body so it should never be ignored. It may 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. You Dread Talking on The Phone
It’s easy to make excuses for phone problems 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.
Consider why you dislike using our phone. If you turn the volume all the way up and can’t understand what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing problem.
3. It Seems Like Everyone Mumbles These Days
It used to be only the kids, but recently, the lady on the TV news, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to mumbling when they talk to you. It’s hard to believe that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation.
The most likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. One of the first indications that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants such as “S” and “T” drop off.
You might not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations any more until somebody points out that you say “What? a lot. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice 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 starts talking, 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 is a higher pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You may have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those sounds are high pitched, as well.
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. Something as simple as the AC popping on during dinner or the sound of people chatting around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Never Used to Feel so Tired
It’s can be exhausting 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 observe changes in your other senses. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to comprehend words? If your last eye exam was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.
8. That Dang TV
Rather than blaming the service provider when you have to keep cranking the TV up, think about getting a hearing exam. When you have loss of hearing it can be hard to hear dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other noises in the room. Your hearing is most likely starting to fail if you have to keep turning up the volume.
The good news is all you need to do to know for certain is a professional hearing exam. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.