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

You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. 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. Many of them are over the age of 75 before they notice a change. Some signs show up earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is an issue immediately.

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. 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 signs.

1. Ears Ringing

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

Triggers are a major factor in tinnitus so it can be sporadic, too. As an example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens when you first get up or when you are tired.

It’s essential that you don’t neglect tinnitus because it is an indication that something is happening with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be caused by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. If you want to know for certain, you will need to consult your doctor.

2. You Hate Talking on The Phone

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.
  • My phone is old.

If you dislike using the phone consider the reasons why. If you have 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 ears are the issue.

3. It Seems As if Everybody Mumbles These Days

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

It’s much more probable that you may not be hearing words in the same way. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first indications that your hearing is changing.

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 as well anymore. Usually, the first to notice you have hearing loss are people close to you like coworkers or family members. If someone says something about it, pay attention.

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

Maybe you can hear the neighbor fine, but when his wife joins the conversation, everything gets messed 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 higher pitched, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You might have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. 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 difficult. Those sounds are high pitched, as well.

6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun

Even worse are the people who actually mumble. Also, it’s much more difficult to comprehend what people are saying when it’s noisy. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start chatting around you or the AC comes on.

7. You Are More Tired Than Normal

It’s can be draining struggling to comprehend what people are saying. You are more exhausted than usual because your brain is working harder to process what it hears. You may even notice changes in your other senses. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to comprehend words? If your last eye test was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your hearing.

8. That Darn TV

Instead of blaming the service provider when you have to keep cranking the TV up, consider getting a hearing test. When you have hearing loss it can be difficult to hear dialog. For example, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. How about the other sounds in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is probably beginning to falter if you have to keep turning up the volume.

A professional hearing test will tell you for sure and that’s the good news. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.

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