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

You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. Hearing loss happens 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 notice a change. Some signs show up sooner, though, and you don’t notice there is an issue right away.

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

1. Ringing in The Ears

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 sign of hearing loss.

Triggers are a significant factor with tinnitus so it can be sporadic, too. Perhaps the ringing only occurs when your tired or when you first get up for instance.

Tinnitus is a sign that something else is happening with your body so it should never be neglected. It could be hearing loss, but it might 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. You Dread Talking on The Phone

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

  • My phone is old.
  • I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
  • I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.

Consider why you dislike talking on our phone. If you turn 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. These Days it Seems As if Everyone Mumbles

It used to be only the kids, but recently, the lady on the TV news, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to mumbling when they speak to you. It’s difficult to believe that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation.

It’s much more likely that you may 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 begin to realize that you can’t hear conversations as well anymore. Usually, the first to notice you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. If someone says something about it, pay attention.

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

Perhaps when you are having a chat with your neighbor everything sounds okay but when his wife starts to talk you can’t understand a word. 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 isn’t as clear because it’s a higher pitch. You may have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those sounds 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, being in noisy places makes understanding what people say a big challenge. Something as routine as the AC popping on during dinner or the sound of people conversing around you makes it impossible to hear anything.

7. You Never Used to Feel This Tired

Battling to comprehend words is exhausting. Your brain has to work extra hard to process what it does hear, so you are more tired than normal. You may even observe changes in your other senses. 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. That Darn TV

It’s easy to blame the TV or the service provider when you have to keep cranking up the volume, but if this is going on all the time, perhaps it’s time for a hearing test. It can be tough to hear people talking on TV shows when you have hearing loss. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. What about the other sounds in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is probably beginning to fail if you have to keep turning up the volume.

A professional hearing exam will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that your hearing has declined.

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