You may think that hearing loss should be simple to spot, but it’s not as easy to recognize as you may believe.
First, many people with hearing loss have trouble only with specific sounds and in specified scenarios. So, if you can hear normally on some occasions, you’ll tend to blame other factors or other people for the times you do have difficulty hearing.
Second, hearing loss takes place slowly over time, so it’s difficult to recognize the slow progression. It’s easier to blame 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 understand what to watch for, and while it’s convenient to deny 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 recognize any, it may be time to schedule a hearing test.
- You experience ringing or buzzing in the ears – this may be a symptom of permanent hearing damage. Hearing aids can not only make it easier to hear better, but they may additionally be able to eliminate 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 somebody calling your name from another room.
- You have trouble understanding TV dialogue – speech is typically much more challenging to hear than other sorts of sound. This frequently 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 television, phone, or radio better than you can hear personal discussions, check out the volume settings on your technology. You could have these devices set at elevated volumes while also thinking that everyone else talks too quietly.
- You ask people to repeat themselves often – 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 misconstrue what people are saying – consonants are higher-pitched, and thus more difficult to hear, than the lower-pitched vowels. Since consonants communicate the majority of the meaning in a sentence, speech comprehension suffers.
- You have trouble hearing all the words in a conversation – specific sounds and letters are more difficult to hear than others. This means you can hear the majority of the words in a sentence, but that you have to more often than not try to fill in the blanks.
- You have trouble hearing when your back is to the speaker – you may be dependent on lip reading, nonverbal communication, and other hints to meaning significantly more than you realize. When you’re not looking at the speaker, and can’t use these hints, you may have trouble comprehending speech.
- You have difficulty hearing with lots of background noise – as hearing loss gets worse, contesting noise becomes more of a challenge. You might be able to hear speech in tranquil surroundings, but it becomes increasingly difficult to follow discussions in a boisterous setting like a restaurant.
- People complain that you shout or have the TV volume too loud – people may comment that you have the television volume too loud or that you have the tendency to yell. It doesn’t appear to be 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, set up your hearing test today, and take the steps to begin living an improved, more productive, and healthier life.