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

You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one day when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss 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 signs show up sooner, though, and you don’t notice there is a problem immediately.

Early hearing loss has gradual and subtle signs. 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’re not sure what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. You could be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable signs.

1. Ringing in The Ears

This is a symptom that people tend to neglect if it doesn’t become too disruptive and it’s really not that subtle. 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. Maybe the ringing only takes place when your tired or in the morning for instance.

Tinnitus is an indicator that something else is going on with your body so it should never be ignored. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be induced 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

Here are some common excuses for phone issues:

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

Consider why you dread talking on our phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t comprehend what is being said, let someone else 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

It used to be only the kids, but recently, the lady on the TV news, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to mumbling when they talk to you. Could it actually 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. Mumbling or dropped off consonants such as “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is changing.

4. What Did You Say?

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

5. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others

Maybe when you are having a chat with the neighbor everything sounds okay but when his wife joins in you can’t understand a word. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or injury to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a common symptom.

Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it’s not as clear. Your daughter or grandchild might present the same issue. 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 also high pitched.

6. Going Out Used to be a Lot More Fun

Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. Also, being in noisy places makes comprehending what people say a big challenge. Something as simple as the AC popping on during dinner or the sound of people chatting around you makes it impossible to hear anything.

7. You Are More Tired Than Usual

Battling to understand words is tiring. Your brain has to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than usual. You might even notice 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 test was okay, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.

8. That Darn TV

Rather than blaming the service provider when you need to keep turning the TV up, consider getting a hearing test. It can be difficult to follow the dialog on TV shows when you have hearing loss. For example, when the background music is playing, it makes everything sound confusing. What about the other sounds in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing could be faltering.

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