8 Discrete Signs Your Hearing is Faltering

Unhappy girl suffering from hearing loss with glass of drink expressing sadness and loneliness while her friends having fun and enjoying a festive BBQ dinner in the background

It isn’t like you simply wake up one day, and your hearing is gone. Hearing loss, particularly when it’s associated with aging, usually progresses in degrees. You might not realize it’s taking place immediately but some indicators do show up earlier.

The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Identifying them sooner is crucial to delay the development of hearing loss or other health issues associated with aging. However, you’re unable to recognize the signs if you don’t know what they are. Contemplate these eight barely noticeable signs that you might have hearing loss.

1. Certain voices you can’t hear very well, others you can

Maybe when you talk to your brother, you can understand him fine, but when your wife speaks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a typical sign of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain.

Her voice is higher in pitch, and that’s why it’s unclear. You might have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can become a problem. Those tones are high, also.

2. You don’t like to talk on the phone

When the phone rings you are inclined to make excuses for not answering:

  • I’m simply not used to this new phone yet
  • It’s probably just spam

Consider why you dread using your phone. It will be a good idea to get someone else to check the phone for you if the volume is at max and you still can’t hear what the other person is saying. If they are able to hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are likely the issue.

3. Why is everybody mumbling?

It seems as if it’s no longer just the kids who are mumbling when they talk, it’s your neighbor, the news lady, your spouse, and even your bartender. It’s difficult to imagine that everybody in your life suddenly has poor enunciation so this is a good indication of hearing decline. How you hear words is changing. Mumbling or dropped off consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first signs that your hearing is going through changes.

4. What?

It might not be until someone points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you recognize you are developing hearing loss. Often, the first people to detect that you’re developing hearing loss are the people you see on a daily basis, like family and coworkers. If someone comments on it, you should pay attention.

5. What’s that ringing in my ears?

This sign is somewhat more obvious, but unless it becomes a distraction, people tend to disregard it. A common sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.

Triggers are an important factor in tinnitus so it can be periodic, too. For example, perhaps the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired. Or, it could also be an indication of high blood pressure, circulatory issues, or trauma.

If you’re noticing these symptoms you should make an appointment for an exam because they may be a sign that you’re having a health problem.

6. Joining your friends at the neighborhood barbecue isn’t as enjoyable

Again, there are those mumbling people, and that’s not fun. It’s so much harder to make out what people are saying in noisy places. It becomes impossible for you to hear anything when you’re around something as basic as the AC kicking in or children splashing and playing around the pool. And, you always feel exhausted from trying to keep up with conversations.

7. You feel more tired than normal

Struggling to understand words is exhausting. Your brain needs to work harder to process what it does hear, so you are more fatigued than normal. You might even experience changes in your other senses. How much energy is left for eyesight, for instance, if your brain is using so much of its energy trying to hear and understand words? If your most recent eye exam was normal, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.

8. Why can’t I hear this TV?

It’s easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you have to keep turning the volume up. It can be difficult to hear the dialogue on your favorite shows when you’re dealing with hearing loss. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialogue, for example. How about the other things in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing might be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.

Luckily, if your hearing is failing, hearing aids can help, you just need to get a hearing test.

If you experience any of the above signs of hearing loss, give us a call today to make an appointment.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.