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

You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. 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. You might not detect the problem immediately even though some signs show up earlier.

The initial symptoms of gradual 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. However, if you’re not sure what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. You may be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.

1. Ears Ringing

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

Triggers are a significant factor in tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. As an example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.

It’s important that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is an indication that something is going on 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 problems:

  • I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
  • I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
  • I have an out dated phone.

If you hate talking on the phone consider the reasons why. If you have 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 ears are the problem.

3. It Seems As if Everyone Mumbles Now

It used to be only the kids, but recently, the news anchor, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to muttering when they talk to you. It’s difficult to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has poor enunciation.

The more 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.

4. What Did You Say?

Only when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you begin to recognize that you can’t hear conversations very well anymore. Usually, the first to notice you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. Pay attention if someone says something about it.

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 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 might present the same problem. Even when you are in normal situations, something as basic as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things complicated. Those sounds are high pitched, as well.

6. Going Out Used to be Much More Fun

Again, there are those people who mumble, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much harder to understand what people are saying when it’s noisy. Something as routine as the AC coming on during dinner or the sound of people chatting around you makes it impossible to hear anything.

7. You Never Used to Feel This Tired

Battling to understand words is fatiguing. You are more tired than normal because your brain is working harder to process what it hears. You might even notice changes in your other senses. 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 tested is your ears.

8. You Can’t Hear The TV

Instead of blaming the service provider when you have to keep cranking the TV up, consider getting a hearing test. When you have hearing loss it can be difficult to follow dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. And don’t even mention 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 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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