HEARING TIPS

8 Subtle Indicators Your Hearing is Failing

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

It’s not as if you simply wake up one morning, and your hearing is gone. For most people, loss of hearing comes in degrees, especially 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 recognize a change. You may not detect the trouble right away even though some signs show up earlier.

The initial 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 recognize the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. Consider these eight barely noticeable clues that you might have hearing loss.

1. Ringing in The Ears

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

The ringing can be periodic and only act up when triggered. For instance, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens when you first get up or when you are tired.

It’s crucial that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is going on with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be induced by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. If you want to know for sure, you will need to see your doctor.

2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful

Here are some common excuses for phone problems:

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

If you hate 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 they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the problem.

3. These Days it Seems Like Everybody Mumbles

It used to be just the kids, but lately, the news anchor, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to mumbling when they talk to you. Could it actually be possible that all of a sudden everyone in your life 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 indications that your hearing is changing.

4. What?

You may not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations any more until someone points out that you say “What? a lot. Usually, the first to recognize you have hearing loss are people close to you like coworkers or family members. If someone says something about it, pay attention.

5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others

Maybe you can hear the neighbor fine, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets messed 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. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same problem. Even things like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those tones are also high pitched.

6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun

Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much harder to understand what people are saying when you are in a noisy place. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start talking around you or the AC pops on.

7. You Feel More Tired Than Usual

Struggling to understand words is fatiguing. Your brain has to work overtime to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than normal. You might even observe changes in your other senses. If your brain is using 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye test was normal, then the next thing to get checked is your hearing.

8. That Darn TV

It is 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 hard to follow people talking on TV shows when you have loss of hearing. There is the background music confusing things, for example. 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.

The good news is all you need to do to know for certain is a professional hearing examination. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.

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