You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. For most people, loss of hearing gradually over time, especially when it comes to aging. Age-related hearing loss affects about one in three people in this country. Usually, the change isn’t even recognized until after the age of 75. You might not realize the trouble right away even though some signs show up earlier.
The initial signs of gradual 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. You can’t identify the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. You could be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Ears Ringing
This is one that people have a tendency to ignore if it doesn’t become too distracting and it’s really not very subtle. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a common indication of hearing loss.
The ringing can be periodic and only act up when triggered. For instance, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.
Tinnitus is a sign that something else is going on with your body so it should never be neglected. It might be hearing loss, but it could 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 Hate Talking on The Phone
Here are some common excuses for phone problems:
- I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
- I have an out dated phone.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
Think about why you dislike using our phone. Get someone you know to test the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still can’t hear it. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the issue.
3. These Days it Seems Like Everyone 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 imagine 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 like “S” and “T” drop off.
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 recognize you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. Pay attention if someone comments on it.
5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much
Maybe you can hear the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled up. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a normal symptom.
Her voice isn’t as clear because it’s higher pitched. You may have the same issue 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 Used to be a Lot More Fun
Again, there are those people who mumble, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much more difficult to understand what people are saying when it’s noisy. Something as routine as the AC popping on during dinner or the sound of people talking around you makes it impossible to hear anything.
7. You Never Used to Feel so Tired
Battling to understand words is tiring. Your brain has to work extra hard to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. Your other senses may also experience changes. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to comprehend words? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye exam came back normal.
8. That Dang TV
Instead of accusing the service provider when you need to keep turning the TV up, consider getting a hearing test. When you have hearing loss it can be hard to hear dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for example. What about the other sounds in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing may be failing.
A professional hearing exam will tell you for sure and that’s the good news. If it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will get things back to normal.