8 Subtle Signs 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 just gone one day when you wake up. Hearing loss, especially when it’s caused by aging, generally progresses in degrees. You might not recognize it’s happening immediately but some signs do appear earlier.

These early developing symptoms progress very discreetly. Identifying them sooner is essential to delay the development of hearing loss or other health issues related to aging. However, you’re unable to detect the signs if you have no clue what they are. Contemplate these eight barely noticeable signs that you might have hearing loss.

1. You hear some people perfectly fine but not others

Maybe you can hear the cashier just fine, but when your wife chimes in on the conversation, everything gets muddled. It’s a typical indication of sensorineural hearing loss or damage to the nerves that distribute electrical signals to the brain.

Her voice is higher in pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You may have the same issue with your grandchild or daughter. Even technology like the microwave or an alarm can throw a loop into things. Those tones are high, as well.

2. You avoid phone calls

When the phone rings you often make excuses for not picking it up:

  • I’m just not used to this new phone yet
  • It’s most likely just spam

You hate talking on the phone, but why? If you have the volume at max and can’t hear what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. If they are able to hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are probably the issue.

3. Why does everybody mumble these days?

It used to be just the kids, but lately, the lady on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your partner all seem like they are mumbling when they speak with you. It’s hard to imagine that everyone in your life suddenly has bad enunciation so this is a good indication of hearing loss. You’re not hearing words the same as you used to. Mumbling or lost 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 somebody points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you recognize you are developing hearing loss. Frequently the people you see on a daily basis like coworkers or family are the first to notice that you’re having a hard time hearing. You should certainly pay attention if somebody says something.

5. What’s that ringing in my ears?

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

Tinnitus can also be periodic because triggers are a significant factor. For instance, maybe the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only manifests in the morning or when you are tired. Or, it could also be a sign of high blood pressure, circulatory problems, or trauma.

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

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

It’s no fun when it sounds like that many people are mumbling at the same time. It’s so much more difficult to understand what people are saying in loud settings. Something as simple as children playing and splashing around in the pool or the sound of the AC kicking on you makes it extremely tough to hear anything. And attempting to focus in on conversations is tedious.

7. You feel more fatigued than usual

It’s laborious when you struggle to understand words. You feel more fatigued than normal because your brain needs to work overtime to try and process what it’s trying to hear. You might even experience differences in your other senses. How much energy is left for eyesight, for instance, if your brain is spending so much of its energy trying to hear and understand words? If your most recent eye exam was good, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.

8. Why is this TV volume so low?

When you have to keep turning the volume up on your TV, it becomes all too easy to blame your service provider or that old TV. 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 befuddling dialogue, for example. What about the other stuff in the room like the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing could be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.

Fortunately, all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing exam and if you find out your hearing is failing, hearing aids will help you get some of your hearing back.

If you experience 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.