HEARING TIPS

8 Subtle Signals Your Hearing is Failing

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

It’s not like you just wake up one morning, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss happens 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 may not realize the problem immediately even though some signs show up earlier.

The early signs 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. You might have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.

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 term for the ringing, is a common symptom of hearing loss.

The ringing can be periodic and only act up when triggered. Perhaps the ringing only occurs when your tired or in the morning for instance.

Tinnitus is an indicator that something else is going on with your body so it should never be ignored. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be induced by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. You won’t know for sure until you consult your doctor, though.

2. You Dread Talking on The Phone

It’s not hard to make excuses for phone issues 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 using 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 As if Everybody Mumbles These Days

It used to be only the kids, but lately, the news anchor, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to muttering when they talk to you. Could it really be true that all of a sudden everyone in your life has poor enunciation.

The more likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. 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 Did You Say?

Only after someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to recognize 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 notice you are having difficulties hearing. Pay attention if someone says something about it.

5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others

Maybe when you are having a conversation with your neighbor everything sounds okay but when his wife starts to talk you can’t understand a word. 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 isn’t as clear. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those tones are also high pitched.

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

Even worse are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes understanding what people say a big challenge. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start chatting around you or the AC pops on.

7. You Feel More Tired Than Normal

It’s can be exhausting struggling to understand what people are saying. You are more tired than usual because your brain is working harder to process what it hears. 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 Dang TV

It is easy to blame the TV or the service provider when you have to keep turning up the volume, but if this is going on all the time, perhaps it’s time for a hearing test. It can be hard 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 unclear. How about the other sounds in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is most likely starting to falter if you have to keep turning up the volume.

The good news is all you need to do to know for sure is a professional hearing test. If it turns out you have a hearing problem, hearing aids will get things back to normal.

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