Bright Audiology - Sanford, NC

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

You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. 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. Usually, the change isn’t even noticed until after the age of 75. You might not detect the trouble right away even though some signs show up earlier.

The initial 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. However, if you don’t know what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. You could have hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.

1. Ringing in The Ears

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

The ringing can be sporadic and only act up when triggered. For example, maybe the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.

It’s essential that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is happening with your body. It could be hearing loss, but it might also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. You won’t know for certain until you see your doctor, though.

2. You Dread Talking on The Phone

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

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

Consider why you dread using our phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t comprehend what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are the issue.

3. It Seems Like Everyone Mumbles These Days

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

The most 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 when someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you begin to recognize that you can’t hear conversations very well anymore. Usually, the first to notice you have hearing loss are people you see every day like coworkers or family members. 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 starts talking, everything gets muddled up. 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 isn’t as clear. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same issue. Even things like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those sounds are also high pitched.

6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun

Worse yet are the people who actually mumble. Also, it’s much harder to comprehend what people are saying when it’s noisy. Something as simple as the AC coming on during dinner or the sound of people chatting around you makes it impossible to hear anything.

7. You Never Used to Feel so Tired

It’s can be fatiguing struggling to understand what people are saying. You are more tired than usual because your brain is working harder to manage what it hears. Your other senses may also undergo changes. 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 exam came back okay.

8. That Dang TV

Rather than blaming the service provider when you have to keep turning the TV up, think about getting a hearing exam. It can be hard to follow people talking on TV shows when you have loss of hearing. For instance, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. And don’t forget about the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. Your hearing is most likely beginning to falter if you have to keep turning the volume up.

A professional hearing test will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that your hearing has declined.

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