8 Discrete Indications Your Hearing is Failing

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

Your hearing won’t be simply gone one day when you wake up. Hearing loss, particularly when it’s associated with aging, typically advances in degrees. You may not realize it’s happening immediately but some signs do show up earlier.

The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Identifying them sooner is essential to slow down the development of hearing loss or other health problems related to aging. However, you’re unable to recognize the signs if you don’t know what they are. You might be developing hearing loss if you notice any of the following eight barely noticeable indicators.

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

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

Her voice is less clear to you because it’s higher in pitch. You may have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can become a problem. Those are also high pitched tones.

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

When the phone rings you often make excuses for not answering:

  • I get tons of spam calls – that’s probably what it is
  • I’m just not used to this brand new phone yet

You hate talking on the phone, but why? It will be a useful idea to get someone else to test the phone for you if the volume is all the way up 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 does everybody mumble these days?

It used to be just the kids, but lately, the woman on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your partner all seem like they’re mumbling when they talk to you. It’s difficult to imagine that everybody in your life suddenly has bad enunciation so this is a strong indication of hearing decline. How you hear words is changing. Mumbling or lost consonants like “S” or “T” is one of the first indications that your hearing is going through changes.

4. What?

You may not even recognize that you can’t hear conversations anymore until somebody points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Frequently the people you see every day like coworkers or family are the first to notice that you’re struggling to hear. You should definitely pay attention if someone says something.

5. Why do I hear ringing sounds in my ears?

Okay, this isn’t really a subtle sign, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s disruptive. Tinnitus, the medical term for the ringing or buzzing in the ear, is a common symptom of hearing loss.

Triggers are a substantial factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. Maybe, when you first get up in the morning is when you have the most significant ringing or buzzing. Or a trauma, circulatory issues, or high blood pressure may be the cause.

It’s important that you don’t disregard these tinnitus symptoms because it’s an indication that something could be wrong, so you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible to get checked out.

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

It’s no fun when it sounds like that many individuals are mumbling at the same time. It’s so much more difficult to understand what people are saying in noisy settings. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re around something as simple as the AC kicking in or youngsters splashing and playing around the pool. And trying to focus in on conversations is exhausting.

7. You’re normally not this worn out

Struggling to understand words is draining. Your brain needs to work overtime to process what it does hear, so you are more tired than usual. You might even notice differences in your other senses. If your brain is using 110 percent of its time and energy to understand words, what’s left for your eyesight or balance? If your last eye test was good, then the next thing to get tested is your ears.

8. Why can’t I hear this TV?

It is easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you have to keep cranking up the volume. When you’re experiencing hearing loss it’s hard to follow along with dialog on your favorite shows. The background music and sound effects are confusing dialogue, for example. How about the other stuff in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing could be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.

Luckily, if your hearing is failing, hearing aids can help, you just need to have your hearing tested.

If you notice any of the above signs of hearing loss, contact us today to schedule 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.