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

You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. For most people, loss of hearing 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 trouble immediately even though some signs show up earlier.

Early hearing loss has progressive 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’re not sure what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. You could be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.

1. Ears Ringing

Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but people tend to ignore it unless it’s disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a common symptom of hearing loss.

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

It’s essential that you don’t neglect tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is happening with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be induced by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. You won’t know for certain until you consult your doctor, though.

2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful

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

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

If you dislike talking on the phone think about the reasons why. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t understand what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the problem.

3. It Seems Like Everybody Mumbles These Days

Recently, it’s not only your kids, but your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have begun to mumble to you. Could it really be possible that all of a sudden everyone in your life has poor enunciation.

It’s much more likely that you may not be hearing words in the same way. Mumbling or dropped off consonants such as “S” or “T” is one of the first indications that your hearing is changing.

4. What?

Only after someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you begin to realize that you can’t hear conversations as well anymore. Usually, the first to notice you have hearing loss are people close to you like coworkers or family members. If someone says something about it, pay attention.

5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others

Perhaps you can hear the neighbor fine, but when his wife starts talking, everything gets muddled 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 higher pitched. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same issue. Even things like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those sounds are high pitched, also.

6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be

Even worse are the people who actually mumble. Also, it’s much harder 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 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 manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. Your other senses might also undergo changes. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to understand words? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye exam came back okay.

8. You Can’t Hear The TV

Rather than blaming the service provider when you have to keep turning the TV up, consider getting a hearing test. It can be difficult to follow people talking on TV shows when you have hearing loss. There is the background music confusing things, for example. How about the other sounds in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is probably starting to fail if you have to keep turning up the volume.

A professional hearing exam will tell you for sure 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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