You may think that hearing loss would be simple to identify, but it’s not as straightforward to notice as you might believe.
To start with, most individuals with hearing loss have problems only with specified sounds and in distinct scenarios. So, if you can hear normally on some occasions, you’ll be inclined to pin the blame on other factors or other people for the instances that you do have trouble hearing.
Second, hearing loss appears slowly and gradually through the years, so it’s difficult to recognize the slow development. It’s more convenient to blame other people for mumbling, or to turn up the TV volume a bit louder, than to admit that you might have hearing loss.
So, the signs can be elusive. You have to understand what to watch out for, and while it’s easy to reject that you have hearing loss, you should be truthful with yourself about the warning signs.
Here are the top 10 to look out for. If you detect the presence of any, it may be time to schedule a hearing exam.
- You experience ringing in the ears – this may be a symptom of permanent hearing injury. Hearing aids can not only help you hear better, but they may also have the ability to lessen the ringing in your ears.
- You are not able to hear regular household sounds – hearing loss can make it difficult to hear the doorbell, the telephone ringing, or somebody shouting your name from another room.
- You have difficulty understanding TV dialogue – speech is generally more challenging to hear than other types of sound. This frequently shows itself as difficulty following movie or television show plots.
- You have your phone, TV, or radio at maximum volume – if you can hear the television, phone, or radio much better than you can hear face-to-face conversations, check out the volume settings on your technology. You could have these gadgets set at elevated volumes while also believing that everyone else speaks too quietly.
- You request that people repeat themselves frequently – you notice that you say “what?” a lot, or that you need to ask people to repeat themselves when you’re not facing them.
- You often misread what people are saying – consonants are higher-pitched, and thus much more difficult to hear, than the lower-pitched vowels. Given that consonants communicate most of the meaning in a sentence, speech comprehension suffers.
- You have trouble hearing all the words in a discussion – select sounds and letters are more difficult to hear than others. This means you can hear most of the words in a sentence, but that you have to frequently try to fill in the blanks.
- You have difficulty hearing when your back is to the speaker – you may rely on lip reading, body language, and other cues to meaning much more than you think. When you’re not looking at the speaker, and can’t use these cues, you may have trouble comprehending speech.
- You have a hard time hearing with lots of background noise – as hearing loss gets worse, competing noise becomes more of a problem. You may manage to hear speech in quiet locations, but it becomes more and more difficult to follow conversations in a noisy environment like a restaurant.
- People complain that you shout or have the TV volume too loud – people may notice that you have the television volume too loud or that you have the predisposition to yell. It doesn’t feel this way to you because you’re compensating for your hearing loss.
Do you have one or more of the top 10 warning signs of hearing loss? If yes, arrange your hearing test today, and take the steps to start living a better, more productive, and healthier life.