Hearing Health Blog

Woman suffering from hearing loss struggling to hear on the phone.

It’s not as if you just wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss comes gradually over time for most people, particularly 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 earlier, though, and you may not notice there is an issue immediately.

Early hearing loss has gradual and subtle symptoms. 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 don’t know what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. Consider these eight barely noticeable signs that you may have hearing loss.

1. Ringing in The Ears

This is a symptom that people tend to ignore if it doesn’t get too disruptive and it’s really not very subtle. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing, is a typical indication of hearing loss.

Triggers are a significant factor with tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. Perhaps the ringing only occurs when your tired or in the morning for instance.

It’s important that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is happening with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be caused by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. 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 issues:

  • I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
  • It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
  • I have an old phone.

If you dislike using the phone consider the reasons why. If you turn the volume all the way up and can’t comprehend what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the issue.

3. These Days it Seems As if Everyone 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 talk to you. It’s hard to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation.

It’s more probable that you might not be hearing words in the same way. One of the initial indications that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants such as “S” and “T” drop off.

4. What?

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 notice you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. Pay attention if someone comments on it.

5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others

Maybe you can hear the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife starts talking, everything gets messed up. It’s a common sign of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical messages to the brain.

Her voice isn’t as clear because it’s higher pitched. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same issue. Even when you are in common situations, something as basic as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things difficult. Those sounds are high pitched, as well.

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 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 exhausted than usual because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. You may 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? If your last eye exam was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your hearing.

8. That Dang TV

It’s easy to blame the TV or the service provider when you have to keep turning up the volume, but if this is going on all the time, maybe it’s time for a hearing exam. When you have loss of hearing it can be difficult to hear dialog. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound unclear. And don’t forget about the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing could be failing.

A professional hearing test will tell you for sure and that’s the good news. If you find out your hearing is declining, hearing aids can get things back to normal.

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