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. Some symptoms show up sooner, though, and you don’t realize there is an issue immediately.

Early hearing loss has gradual and subtle symptoms. 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 may 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 disruptive. The medical name for this ringing is tinnitus, a common symptom of hearing loss.

Triggers are a significant factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. For 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 happening 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 sure until you consult your doctor, though.

2. You Hate Talking on The Phone

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

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

If you dislike using the phone consider the reasons why. Get someone you know to test the phone for you if the volume is up and you still don’t hear it. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your hearing is the issue.

3. It Seems As if Everyone Mumbles Now

Lately, it’s not only the kids, but also your neighbor, the news anchor, and even your spouse that have begun to mumble to you. Could it really be true that all of a sudden everyone in your life has poor enunciation.

The most likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is changing.

4. What?

You might not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations any more until someone points out that you say “What? a lot. Usually, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice you are struggling to hear. If someone says something about it, pay attention.

5. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others

Maybe you can hear the neighbor perfectly, 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 a higher pitch, and that’s why it’s not as clear. You may have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even when you are in common situations, something as basic as trying to hear the sound of an alarm clock ar a microwave can make things complicated. Those sounds are also high pitched.

6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Once Was

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

7. You Feel More Tired Than Usual

Battling to understand words is fatiguing. Your brain has to work overtime to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. You may even observe changes in your other senses. 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 tested is your hearing.

8. You Can’t Hear The 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 tough to hear people talking on TV shows when you suffer from loss of hearing. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. And don’t forget about the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. Your hearing is most likely starting to fail if you have to keep turning the volume up.

The good news is all you need to do to know for sure is a professional hearing test. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that your hearing has declined.

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