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

It’s not like you simply wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss happens in degrees for most people, 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. Some symptoms show up sooner, though, and you don’t notice there is an issue right away.

The early symptoms 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’re not sure what the signs are, you can’t recognize them. Think about these eight barely noticeable signs that you could have hearing loss.

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. Tinnitus, the medical name for the ringing, is a typical sign of hearing loss.

Triggers are a major factor in tinnitus so it can be sporadic, too. 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. You won’t know for sure until you consult your doctor, though.

2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful

It’s not hard 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.
  • My phone is out dated.

Consider why you dislike talking on our phone. Get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is up and you still can’t hear it. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are the issue.

3. These Days it Seems Like Everybody Mumbles

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

It’s 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 Did You Say?

Only after someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you start to recognize that you can’t hear conversations very well anymore. Usually, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice you are having difficulties hearing. Pay attention if someone comments on it.

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

Maybe when you are having a conversation with your neighbor everything sounds fine but when his wife joins in you can’t make out 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 isn’t as clear because it’s higher pitched. Your daughter or grandchild may present the same problem. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those tones are high pitched, as well.

6. Going Out Isn’t as Much Fun as it Used to be

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

7. You Never Used to Feel so Tired

It’s can be exhausting struggling to comprehend what people are saying. Your brain has to work extra hard to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than normal. Your other senses might also undergo changes. What’s left for your other senses when your brain is working at 110 percent of its energy to understand words? If your last eye examination was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.

8. That Dang TV

It is 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 exam. It can be difficult to follow the dialog on TV shows when you have loss of hearing. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other things in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing may be faltering.

The good news is all you need to do to know for certain is a professional hearing examination. If it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids can get things back to normal.