You might think hearing loss should be obvious to spot, but it’s not as straightforward to recognize as you might think.
First, many people with hearing loss have trouble only with certain sounds and in specific scenarios. And so, if you can hear normally on some occasions, you’ll have the tendency to blame other factors or other people for the instances that you do have trouble hearing.
Second, hearing loss takes place slowly and gradually through the years, so it’s challenging to notice the slow development. It’s easier to blame others for mumbling, or to turn up the TV volume a little higher, than to admit that you may possibly have hearing loss.
As a result, the signs and symptoms can be elusive. You need to know what to watch for, and while it’s convenient to disavow 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 set up a hearing exam.
- You experience ringing or buzzing in the ears – this may be an indicator of permanent hearing damage. Hearing aids can not only enable you to hear better, but they may also have the ability to eliminate 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 phone ringing, or another person shouting your name from another room.
- You have difficulty comprehending TV dialogue – speech is ordinarily more challenging to hear than other kinds of sound. This often manifests itself as difficulty following movie or TV show plots.
- You have your phone, television, or radio at maximum volume – if you can hear the TV, phone, or radio much better than you can hear personal conversations, check out the volume settings on your technology. You may have these devices set at excessive volumes while also believing that everyone else talks too quietly.
- You ask people to repeat themselves regularly – 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 frequently misunderstand what people are saying – consonants are higher-pitched, and thus more difficult to hear, than vowels. Given that consonants convey most 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 challenging to hear than others. Consequently, 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 difficulty hearing when your back is to the speaker – you may depend on lip reading, body language, and other cues to meaning 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 difficulty hearing with a great deal of background noise – as hearing loss gets worse, competing noise becomes more of a problem. You might have the capacity to hear speech in quiet areas, but it becomes increasingly difficult to follow conversations in a loud setting like a restaurant.
- People complain that you shout or have the TV volume too loud – people may remark 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 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.