You would think that hearing loss should be obvious to identify, but it’s not as straightforward to notice as you may think.
To begin with, most individuals with hearing loss have difficulties only with select sounds and in specified situations. 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 appears slowly and gradually over the years, so it’s challenging to detect the slow development. It’s faster and easier to blame others for mumbling, or to turn up the TV volume a bit louder, than to confess that you might have hearing loss.
As a result, the signs can be subtle. You have to understand what to watch out 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 watch out for. If you detect the presence of any, it may be time to arrange a hearing test.
- You experience ringing or buzzing in the ears – this may be indicative of permanent hearing injury. Hearing aids can not only allow you to hear better, but they may also have the ability to relieve the ringing in your ears.
- You can’t hear normal household sounds – hearing loss can make it difficult to hear the doorbell, the phone ringing, or a friend calling your name from another room.
- You have trouble understanding TV dialogue – speech is typically much more difficult to hear than other types of sound. This often shows itself as trouble following movie or television show plots.
- You have your cellphone, TV, or radio at max volume – if you can hear the TV, phone, or radio much better than you can hear personal conversations, check the volume settings on your devices. You might have these devices set at elevated volumes while concurrently thinking that everyone else talks too softly.
- You ask people to repeat themselves frequently – you notice that you say “what?” a lot, or that you have to ask people to repeat themselves when you’re not facing them.
- You often misinterpret what people are saying – consonants are higher-pitched, and thus more difficult to hear, than vowels. Seeing that consonants transmit most of the meaning in a sentence, speech comprehension suffers.
- You have trouble hearing all the words in a conversation – certain sounds and letters are more difficult to hear than others. What this means is you can hear the majority of the words in a sentence, but that you have to often times try to fill in the blanks.
- You have difficulty hearing when your back is to the speaker – you may rely on lip reading, nonverbal communication, and other cues to meaning much more than you realize. When you’re not facing the speaker, and can’t use these hints, you may have trouble understanding speech.
- You have difficulty hearing with lots of background noise – as hearing loss becomes worse, contesting noise becomes more of a challenge. You might manage to hear speech in tranquil areas, but it becomes progressively difficult to follow conversations in a loud setting like a restaurant.
- People say 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 habit to shout. It doesn’t feel 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 so, book your hearing test today, and take the steps to begin living an improved, more productive, and healthier life.