8 Subtle Signals Your Hearing is Failing
It’s not like you simply wake up one morning, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss happens in degrees for most people, particularly when it comes to aging. Age-related hearing loss affects about one in three people in this country. Usually, the change isn’t even noticed until after the age of 75. You might not detect the problem immediately even though some symptoms show up earlier.
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. You can’t identify the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. Think about these eight barely noticeable indicators that you may have hearing loss.
1. Ears Ringing
This is one that people tend 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 typical symptom of hearing loss.
The ringing can be sporadic and only act up when triggered. Maybe the ringing only takes place when your tired or when you first get up for example.
It’s important that you don’t neglect tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is happening with your body. It might 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 consult your doctor.
2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful
Here are some common excuses for phone problems:
- My phone is damaged from being dropped.
- I have an old phone.
- It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.
Think about why you dread talking on our phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t understand what is being said, let someone else 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
Recently, it’s not only your kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have started to mumble to you. It’s hard to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation.
The most 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 when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to realize that you can’t hear conversations very 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 hear the neighbor fine, but when his wife joins the conversation, 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 normal symptom.
Her voice is higher pitched, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. Your daughter or grandchild might present the same problem. Even things like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those sounds are also high pitched.
6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun
Even worse are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes understanding what people say that much harder. 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 so Tired
It’s can be exhausting struggling to understand what people are saying. Your brain has to work extra hard to process what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than usual. Your other senses might also experience 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 examination was normal, then the next thing to get checked is your hearing.
8. You Can’t Hear The 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, maybe it’s time for a hearing test. When you have loss of hearing it can be hard to follow dialog. For example, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. What about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing might be failing.
A professional hearing test will tell you for sure and that’s the good news. If it turns out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids will get things back to normal.