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McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

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

You don’t suddenly lose your hearing one morning when you wake up. 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. Usually, the change isn’t even recognized until after the age of 75. Some signs show up earlier, though, and you don’t notice there is an issue right away.

Early hearing loss has progressive 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. Consider these eight barely noticeable indicators that you may have hearing loss.

1. Ringing in The Ears

This is a symptom that people have a tendency to ignore if it doesn’t get too distracting and it’s really not very subtle. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing, is a common sign of hearing loss.

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

It’s essential that you don’t ignore tinnitus because it is a symptom that something is going on with your body. It could be hearing loss, but it may also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems or trauma. If you want to know for certain, you will need to see your doctor.

2. Talking on The Phone is Stressful

Here are some common excuses for phone issues:

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

If you hate using the phone consider the reasons why. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t understand 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. These Days it Seems As if Everybody Mumbles

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 really be possible that suddenly everyone in your life has poor enunciation.

The more likely answer is the way you hear words is changing. One of the initial indications that your hearing is changing is when talking sounds like mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” drop off.

4. What Did You Say?

Only after someone calls you out for saying “what?” a lot do you begin to recognize that you can’t hear conversations as well anymore. Very often, 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 when you are having a conversation with the neighbor everything sounds fine but when his wife starts to talk you can’t make out a word. You can have sensorineural hearing loss, or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain, and this is a normal symptom.

Her voice is higher pitched, and that’s why it’s not as clear. Your daughter or grandchild might present the same problem. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can be a problem. Those tones are high pitched, also.

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 comprehend what people are saying when it’s noisy. It becomes impossible to hear anything when you are at dinner and people start chatting around you or the AC pops on.

7. You Never Used to Feel so Tired

Struggling to understand words is tiring. Your brain has to work overtime to manage what it does hear, so you are more tired than normal. Your other senses might also undergo changes. If your brain is utilizing 110 percent of its time and energy to comprehend words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? It’s time to have your ears checked if your eye exam came back okay.

8. You Can’t Hear The TV

Instead of blaming the service provider when you need to keep cranking the TV up, consider getting a hearing test. It can be difficult to hear the dialog on TV shows when you suffer from loss of hearing. There is the background music confusing things, for instance. What about the other sounds in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing is probably starting to falter if you have to keep turning up the volume.

A professional hearing exam will tell you for sure and that’s the good news. Hearing aids should get things back to normal if it turns out that you have a hearing problem.