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

It’s not as if you just wake up one morning, and your hearing is gone. For most people, hearing loss gradually over time, especially when it is related 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 recognize a change. Some symptoms show up sooner, though, and you may not notice there is an issue right away.

Early hearing loss has progressive and subtle symptoms. 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 don’t know what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. Consider these eight barely noticeable indicators that you might 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. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a common symptom of hearing loss.

Triggers are a significant factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. For instance, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens when you first get up or when you are tired.

Tinnitus is a sign that something else is happening with your body so it should never be neglected. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be induced by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. If you want to know for certain, you will need to see your doctor.

2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful

Here are some common excuses for phone issues:

  • I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
  • My phone is damaged from being dropped.
  • I have an out dated phone.

If you hate 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 someone else test the phone for you. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing issue.

3. It Seems As if Everybody Mumbles These Days

Lately, it’s not only the kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have begun to mumble to you. It’s difficult to believe that everyone you deal with suddenly has poor enunciation.

It’s more likely that you may 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?

Only when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to realize that you can’t hear conversations as well anymore. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice you are struggling to hear. If someone says something about it, pay attention.

5. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others

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. It’s a common sign of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical messages to the brain.

Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it’s not as clear. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even when you are in common 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 Once Was

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 routine 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 comprehend words is exhausting. Your brain has to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. Your other senses might also experience changes. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to comprehend words? It’s time to have your ears tested if your eye exam came back okay.

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 happening all the time, perhaps it’s time for a hearing exam. When you have loss of hearing it can be difficult to hear dialog. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. How 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.

The good news is all you need to do to know for certain is a professional hearing exam. If it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will get things back to normal.

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