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

It’s not like you just wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss comes in degrees for most people, especially when it comes to aging. Age-related hearing loss affects about one in three people in this country. Often, the change isn’t even recognized until after the age of 75. Some signs show up sooner, though, and you don’t notice there is an issue immediately.

The early 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. Consider these eight barely noticeable indicators that you may have hearing loss.

1. Ears Ringing

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

The ringing can be intermittent and only act up when triggered. Perhaps the ringing only occurs when your tired or when you first get up for example.

Tinnitus is an indicator that something else is happening with your body so it should never be neglected. It may be hearing loss, but it may also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. 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.
  • My phone is out dated.
  • My phone is damaged from being dropped.

If you dislike talking on the phone consider the reasons why. Get someone you know to test the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still don’t hear it. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing problem.

3. It Seems As if Everybody Mumbles These Days

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

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

4. What?

You might not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations any more until somebody points out that you say “What? a lot. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice you are having difficulties hearing. If someone says something about it, pay attention.

5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others

Maybe you can hear the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife joins the conversation, 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. You might have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. 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 difficult. Those sounds are also high pitched.

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

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

7. You Are More Tired Than Normal

Struggling to understand words is exhausting. Your brain has to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than normal. You might even observe changes in your other senses. If your brain is using 110 percent of its time and energy to comprehend words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? It’s time to have your ears tested if your eye examination came back normal.

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 happening all the time, perhaps it’s time for a hearing test. It can be tough to hear people talking on TV shows when you suffer from hearing loss. For example, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. What about the other sounds in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing could be faltering.

A professional hearing test will tell you for sure 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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