You may think that hearing loss would be obvious to identify, but it’s not as easy to notice as you may think.
First, many individuals with hearing loss have problems only with certain sounds and in specific situations. Consequently, if you can hear normally on some occasions, you’ll tend to pin the blame on other factors or other people for the times you do have a tough time hearing.
Second, hearing loss takes place slowly and gradually as time goes by, so it’s challenging to recognize the slow progression. It’s easier to pin the blame on other people for mumbling, or to turn up the TV volume a bit louder, than to acknowledge that you may have hearing loss.
As a result, the signs and symptoms can be subtle. You need to understand 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 might be indicative of permanent hearing damage. Hearing aids can not only cause 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 challenging to hear the doorbell, the telephone ringing, or another person shouting your name from another room.
- You have difficulty comprehending TV dialogue – speech is usually a lot more challenging to hear than other kinds of sound. This often manifests itself as difficulty following movie or TV show plots.
- You have your cellphone, television, or radio at max volume – if you can hear the TV, phone, or radio better than you can hear face-to-face conversations, check out the volume settings on your technology. You could have these gadgets set at elevated volumes while also believing that everyone else talks too softly.
- You ask people to repeat themselves regularly – 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 misinterpret what people are saying – consonants are higher-pitched, and thus more difficult to hear, than the lower-pitched vowels. Considering that consonants impart 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. Consequently, you can hear the majority of the words in a sentence, but that you have to many times try to fill in the blanks.
- You have difficulty hearing when your back is to the speaker – you may be dependent on lip reading, body language, and other tips to meaning significantly more than you realize. When you’re not facing the speaker, and can’t use these hints, you may have difficulty comprehending speech.
- You have trouble hearing with a great deal of background noise – as hearing loss becomes worse, competing noise becomes more of a problem. You might have the capacity to hear speech in quiet surroundings, but it becomes progressively difficult to follow discussions 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 TV volume too loud or that you have the proclivity to shout. It doesn’t feel 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, set up your hearing test today, and take the steps to start living an improved, more productive, and healthier life.