You might think hearing loss should be simple to identify, but it’s not as straightforward to recognize as you may believe.
To begin with, most individuals with hearing loss have difficulty only with certain sounds and in specified situations. 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 trouble hearing.
Second, hearing loss occurs slowly over the years, so it’s difficult to recognize the slow progression. It’s simpler and easier to find fault with other people for mumbling, or to turn up the TV volume a little higher, than to acknowledge that you may have hearing loss.
So, the signs and symptoms can be subtle. You have 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 watch out for. If you recognize any, it may be time to schedule a hearing exam.
- You experience ringing or buzzing in the ears – this may be a sign of permanent hearing damage. Hearing aids can not only assist you to hear better, but they may also have the ability to alleviate the ringing in your ears.
- You are not able to hear normal household sounds – hearing loss can make it tough to hear the doorbell, the telephone ringing, or somebody shouting your name from another room.
- You have trouble understanding TV dialogue – speech is usually much more challenging to hear than other sorts of sound. This frequently shows itself as trouble following movie or television show plots.
- You have your cellphone, TV, or radio at maximum volume – if you can hear the TV, phone, or radio much better than you can hear face-to-face conversations, check the volume settings on your technology. You could have these gadgets set at elevated volumes while simultaneously believing that everyone else speaks too quietly.
- You request that people repeat themselves regularly – you realize that you say “what?” a lot, or that you have to ask people to repeat themselves when you’re not facing them.
- You commonly misinterpret what people are saying – consonants are higher-pitched, and thus much more difficult to hear, than the lower-pitched vowels. Since consonants impart most of the meaning in a sentence, speech comprehension suffers.
- You have difficulty hearing all the words in a conversation – select sounds and letters are more difficult to hear than others. What this means is you can hear most of the words in a sentence, but that you have to many 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 gestures, and other hints to meaning much more than you think. When you’re not facing the speaker, and can’t use these cues, you may have trouble understanding speech.
- You have difficulty hearing with a great deal of background noise – as hearing loss becomes more serious, competing noise becomes more of a problem. You might have the capacity to hear speech in tranquil environments, but it becomes increasingly difficult to follow conversations in a noisy environment like a restaurant.
- People say 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 tendency to yell. It doesn’t seem 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 so, schedule your hearing test today, and take the steps to start living an improved, more productive, and healthier life.