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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, 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 immediately even though some symptoms show up earlier.

The early 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 identify the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. You may be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.

1. Ears Ringing

Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s distracting. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical sign of hearing loss.

The ringing can be periodic and only act up when triggered. Maybe the ringing only happens when your tired or when you first get up for instance.

Tinnitus is a sign that something else is going on with your body so it should never be neglected. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be caused by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. You won’t know for certain until you see your doctor, though.

2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful

It’s easy to make excuses for phone issues like:

  • I have an old phone.
  • I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
  • It’s a new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet.

Think about why you dread talking on our phone. 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. These Days it Seems Like Everyone Mumbles

Lately, it’s not only your kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have begun to mumble to you. It’s hard to believe 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?

Only when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to recognize 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 recognize you are having difficulties hearing. If someone comments on it, pay attention.

5. Some People You Hear Fine But Others Not so Much

Perhaps 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 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 tones are high pitched, as well.

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

Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, being in noisy places makes understanding what people say a big challenge. Something as routine as the AC popping on during dinner or the sound of people conversing around you makes it impossible to hear anything.

7. You Are More Tired Than Normal

Battling to comprehend words is exhausting. You are more exhausted than usual because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. 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 checked if your eye exam 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 happening all the time, perhaps it’s time for a hearing test. It can be difficult to follow the dialog on TV shows when you have loss of hearing. 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 might be failing.

A professional hearing exam will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. If you find out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will get things back to normal.