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

You don’t abruptly lose your hearing one day when you wake up. Hearing loss comes 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. Often, the change isn’t even noticed until after the age of 75. You might not realize the problem right away even though some signs show up earlier.

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. You can’t recognize the signs if you don’t know what they are, though. You could be suffering from hearing loss if you have any of these eight barely noticeable indicators.

1. Ears Ringing

Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but people tend to ignore it unless it’s disruptive. The medical term for this ringing is tinnitus, a typical sign of hearing loss.

The ringing can be periodic and only act up when triggered. For instance, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired.

It’s important that you don’t neglect tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is happening with your body. 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

Here are some common excuses for phone issues:

  • I have an out dated phone.
  • I’m not used to my phone’s newer technology yet.
  • My phone is damaged from being dropped.

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

3. It Seems Like Everybody Mumbles Now

It used to be only the kids, but recently, 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 more likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. One of the first indications that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” drop off.

4. What?

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 people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to recognize you are having difficulties hearing. Pay attention if someone comments on it.

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

Maybe you can understand the neighbor perfectly, 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 isn’t as clear because it’s a higher pitch. Your daughter or grandchild might present the same issue. 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

Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. Also, it’s much more difficult to understand what people are saying when you are in a noisy place. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start talking around you or the AC comes on.

7. You Feel More Tired Than Usual

It’s can be fatiguing 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 usual. Your other senses may also experience changes. If your brain is using 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? It’s time to have your ears tested if your eye examination came back okay.

8. You Can’t Hear The 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 hear people talking on TV shows when you have loss of hearing. There is the background music confusing things, for example. How about the other sounds in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing may be faltering.

A professional hearing test will tell you for certain and that’s the good news. If it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will get things back to normal.