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 gradually over time, especially when it comes to aging. Age-related hearing loss affects about one in three people in this country. Usually, the change isn’t even recognized until after the age of 75. You may not realize the trouble immediately even though some symptoms 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 recognize the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. You might 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 disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a typical sign of hearing loss.

The ringing can be intermittent and only act up when triggered. As an example, maybe 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 going on 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 sure, you will need to see your doctor.

2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful

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

  • I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
  • I dropped my phone in water or on the ground.
  • I have an old phone.

If you hate talking on the phone think about the reasons why. If you turn 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 Now

Recently, 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 hard to believe that everyone you deal with suddenly has poor enunciation.

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

4. What?

Only after someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you begin to realize 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 recognize you are struggling to hear. If someone says something about it, pay attention.

5. You Hear Some People Perfectly Fine But Not Others

Perhaps you can hear the neighbor perfectly, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets muddled up. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a common symptom.

Her voice isn’t as clear because it’s higher pitched. Your daughter or grandchild might present the same problem. Even things like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those sounds are high pitched, as well.

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, being in noisy places makes comprehending what people say that much harder. 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 Never Used to Feel so Tired

It’s can be fatiguing struggling to comprehend what people are saying. You are more exhausted than normal because your brain is working harder to process what it hears. Your other senses might also undergo changes. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to comprehend words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye examination was okay, then the next thing to get checked is your hearing.

8. That Dang 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. When you have loss of hearing it can be difficult to follow dialog. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. What about the other stuff in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is most likely starting to falter if you have to keep turning the volume up.

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