You would think that hearing loss would be obvious to spot, but it’s not as easy to notice as you may believe.
First, many individuals with hearing loss have difficulties only with certain sounds and in specific situations. And so, if you can hear normally on some occasions, you’ll tend to pin the blame on other factors or other people for the instances that you do have difficulty hearing.
Second, hearing loss comes about slowly and gradually through the years, so it’s challenging to notice the slow progression. It’s simpler and easier to blame it on other people for mumbling, or to turn up the TV volume a bit higher, than to confess that you might have hearing loss.
So, the signs can be subtle. You need to know what to watch for, and although it’s easy to deny that you have hearing loss, you should be honest 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 test.
- You experience ringing or buzzing in the ears – this may be an indication of permanent hearing damage. Hearing aids can not only make it easier to hear better, but they may also be able to minimize the ringing in your ears.
- You can’t hear regular household sounds – hearing loss can make it tough to hear the doorbell, the phone ringing, or a friend shouting your name from another room.
- You have trouble understanding TV dialogue – speech is commonly much 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 max volume – if you can hear the TV, phone, or radio better than you can hear face-to-face conversations, check the volume settings on your devices. You could have these gadgets set at elevated volumes while simultaneously thinking that everyone else speaks too quietly.
- You ask people to repeat themselves frequently – you detect that you say “what?” a lot, or that you need to ask people to repeat themselves when you’re not facing them.
- You commonly misread what people are saying – consonants are higher-pitched, and therefore much more difficult to hear, than the lower-pitched vowels. Since consonants impart the majority of the meaning in a sentence, speech comprehension suffers.
- You have difficulty hearing all the words in a discussion – particular 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 often times try to fill in the blanks.
- You have trouble hearing when your back is to the speaker – you may rely on lip reading, body language, and other hints to meaning significantly more than you think. When you’re not facing the speaker, and can’t use these hints, you may have difficulty comprehending speech.
- You have a hard time hearing with a great deal of background noise – as hearing loss gets more serious, contending noise becomes more of a challenge. You may be able to hear speech in quiet areas, but it becomes increasingly difficult to follow conversations in a noisy setting like a restaurant.
- People say that you shout or have the TV volume too loud – people may remark that you have the TV volume too loud or that you have the tendency to shout. It doesn’t appear to be this way to you because you’re compensating for your hearing loss.
Do you notice one or more of the top 10 warning signs of hearing loss? If yes, book your hearing test today, and take the steps to start living an improved, more productive, and healthier life.