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, hearing loss comes in degrees, 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 noticed until after the age of 75. You might not realize the trouble right away even though some symptoms show up earlier.

The initial symptoms of gradual 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. Consider these eight barely noticeable signs that you could have hearing loss.

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 symptom of hearing loss.

The ringing can be intermittent and only act up when triggered. As an example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing or roaring only happens when you first get up or when you are tired.

It’s crucial that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is happening with your body. Besides hearing loss, tinnitus can be caused by high blood pressure, trauma, or a circulatory problem. You won’t know for certain until you see your doctor, though.

2. You Hate Talking on The Phone

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

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

If you dislike talking on the phone think about the reasons why. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t comprehend what is being said, let a friend test the phone for you. If you can’t hear the conversation but they can then you have a hearing problem.

3. It Seems As if Everybody Mumbles These Days

It used to be just the kids, but lately, the lady on the TV news, your neighbor, and your spouse all have taken to muttering when they talk to you. Could it actually be true that all of a sudden everyone in your life has poor enunciation.

It’s more likely that you may not be hearing words in the same way. 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 someone points out that you say “What? a lot. Very often, the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice you are struggling to hear. Pay attention if someone says something about it.

5. You Hear Some People Just Fine But Not Others

Maybe when you are having a conversation with the neighbor everything sounds okay but when his wife joins in you can’t understand a word. It’s a common sign 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 isn’t 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 difficult. Those sounds are high pitched, as well.

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

Worse yet 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 Never Used to Feel so Tired

It’s can be fatiguing struggling to comprehend what people are saying. Your brain has to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more exhausted than normal. Your other senses may also undergo changes. 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 okay, then the next thing to get checked is your hearing.

8. That Dang TV

It’s 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 hearing loss. There is the background music confusing things, for example. And don’t even mention the AC, ceiling fan or other noises in the room. If the volume keeps going up, then your hearing could be faltering.

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