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

You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss gradually over time, 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. You might not detect the problem immediately even though some signs show up earlier.

Early hearing loss has gradual and subtle signs. 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. Think about these eight barely noticeable signs that you could have hearing loss.

1. Ears Ringing

This is one that people have a tendency to neglect if it doesn’t get too distracting and it’s actually not very subtle. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a common indication of hearing loss.

Triggers are a significant factor with tinnitus so it can be sporadic, too. As an example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens when you first get up or when you are tired.

Tinnitus is an indicator that something else is going on with your body so it should never be neglected. It could 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 see your doctor.

2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful

It’s not hard to make excuses for phone problems like:

  • My phone is old.
  • It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
  • My phone is damaged from being dropped.

Think about why you dread talking on our phone. Get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still don’t hear it. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the issue.

3. These Days it Seems As if Everyone Mumbles

Lately, it’s not only your kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. Could it really be possible that suddenly everyone in your life has poor enunciation.

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

4. What Did You Say?

Only after someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to recognize that you can’t hear conversations as well anymore. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are struggling to hear. If someone comments on it, pay attention.

5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much

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

Her voice is higher pitched, and that’s why it’s not as clear. Your daughter or grandchild might present the same problem. 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 Much More Fun

Even worse are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes comprehending what people say a big challenge. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start talking around you or the AC pops on.

7. You Never Used to Feel This Tired

It’s can be draining struggling to comprehend what people are saying. Your brain has to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more tired than normal. Your other senses might also undergo changes. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to comprehend words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye test was okay, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.

8. That Dang TV

Rather than accusing the service provider when you need to keep turning the TV up, think about getting a hearing test. When you have hearing loss it can be difficult to follow 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 noises in the room. 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.

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