You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one day when you wake up. Hearing loss comes in degrees for most people, 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 recognize a change. Some symptoms show up earlier, though, and you don’t notice there is an issue right away.
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 have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.
1. Ears Ringing
This is a symptom that people tend to neglect if it doesn’t get too disruptive and it’s actually not very subtle. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical sign of hearing loss.
Triggers are a major factor with tinnitus so it can be sporadic, too. As an example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.
It’s essential that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is an indication that something is happening with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be induced by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. If you want to know for sure, you will need to see your doctor.
2. You Hate Talking on The Phone
Here are some common excuses for phone issues:
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
- I have an old phone.
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
Consider why you dislike using our phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t comprehend 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 As if Everyone Mumbles Now
Lately, it’s not only the kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. Could it really be true that all of a sudden everyone in your life has poor enunciation.
The more likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. Mumbling or dropped off consonants such as “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is changing.
Only after someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to recognize that you can’t hear conversations very well anymore. 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 Just Fine But Not Others
Maybe you can understand the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets messed 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’s not as clear. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same problem. 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 Used to be
Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much more difficult to comprehend what people are saying when you are in a noisy place. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start conversing around you or the AC comes on.
7. You Are More Tired Than Usual
It’s can be draining struggling to understand what people are saying. You are more tired than usual because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. You might even notice 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? It’s time to have your ears tested if your eye examination came back okay.
8. That Dang TV
Instead of accusing the service provider when you have to keep cranking the TV up, think about getting a hearing exam. It can be hard to hear people talking on TV shows when you have loss of hearing. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing may be faltering.
The good news is all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing exam. If it turns out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids can get things back to normal.