It’s not like you just wake up one morning, 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. Usually, the change isn’t even noticed until after the age of 75. Some symptoms show up sooner, though, and you don’t realize there is a problem immediately.
The early symptoms 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’re not sure what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. You might be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.
1. Ringing in The Ears
This is one that people have a tendency to neglect if it doesn’t get too disruptive and it’s really not that subtle. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing, is a common sign of hearing loss.
Triggers are a significant factor in tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. Perhaps the ringing only takes place 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. 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 have an out dated phone.
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
- I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
Consider why you dread using our phone. Get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is all the way 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
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. Could it actually be possible that suddenly everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
It’s more probable that you may not be hearing words in the same way. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first indications 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 recognize you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. If someone comments on it, pay attention.
5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others
Perhaps you can understand the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled up. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or injury to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a normal symptom.
Her voice is higher pitched, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You may have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even when you are in normal situations, something as basic as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things complicated. Those tones are high pitched, also.
6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be
Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes comprehending what people say that much harder. 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 Feel More Tired Than Normal
Struggling to understand words is fatiguing. Your brain has to work extra hard to process what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than normal. Your other senses may also undergo changes. 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 exam was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your hearing.
8. You Can’t Hear The TV
Instead of accusing the service provider when you have to keep turning the TV up, think about getting a hearing test. It can be hard to follow people talking on TV shows when you suffer from loss of hearing. For example, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound unclear. What about the other stuff 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 certain and that’s the good news. If it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids can get things back to normal.