It’s not like you simply wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. For most people, loss of hearing comes in degrees, 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 noticed until after the age of 75. Some signs show up sooner, though, and you may not notice there is an issue immediately.
The initial symptoms 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 a symptom that people tend to ignore if it doesn’t get too disruptive and it’s really not that subtle. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a common symptom of hearing loss.
Triggers are a considerable factor in tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. Maybe the ringing only occurs when your tired or when you first get up for instance.
Tinnitus is a sign that something else is going on with your body so it should never be neglected. It may be hearing loss, but it could also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. If you want to know for certain, you will need to consult your doctor.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
It’s not hard to make excuses for phone issues like:
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- My phone is old.
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
Consider why you dread using our phone. Get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is up and you still can’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
Lately, it’s not only the kids, but your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. It’s hard 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 like “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is changing.
You might not even realize 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 close to you like coworkers or family members. Pay attention if someone says something about it.
5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others
Perhaps you can understand 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 isn’t as clear because it’s a higher pitch. You may 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 Isn’t as Much Fun as it Once Was
Again, there are those people who mumble, and that’s not fun. 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 comes on.
7. You Never Used to Feel so Tired
Struggling to comprehend words is tiring. You are more exhausted than usual because your brain is working harder to process 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 comprehend words? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye examination came back normal.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
Rather than blaming the service provider when you have to keep turning the TV up, think about getting a hearing exam. When you have loss of hearing it can be difficult to follow dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for example. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other noises in the room. Your hearing is probably beginning to fail if you need to keep turning the volume up.
The good news is all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing exam. If it turns out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids can get things back to normal.