You would think hearing loss would be obvious to spot, but people don’t always recognize the signs.
For most people, it starts with minor things like trouble understanding certain sounds and in specific situations. Maybe you can hear like you always did most of the time, so it’s easy to blame other your surroundings or other people when it does happen.
Second, hearing loss is a slow process for most, so it’s difficult to notice the downhill progression. You’re quick to blame others for mumbling or to turn up the TV volume a little louder because it is easier than considering that you may have hearing loss.
So, the signs can be subtle. You have to know what to watch for, and while it’s easy to deny that you have hearing loss, you should be honest with yourself about the warning signs.
It’s time to consider 10 of the top warning signs of hearing loss. If any of them sound familiar, go ahead and schedule a hearing test.
- There is an undeniable ringing in the ears – this may be a sign of permanent hearing damage. Hearing aids not only help you hear better, but they may also be able to relieve the ringing in your ears.
- You don’t notice the normal household sounds anymore – hearing loss can make it hard to hear the doorbell, the phone ringing, or someone calling your name from another room.
- You have trouble understanding TV dialogue – speech is generally more difficult to hear than other types of sound. This often manifests itself as difficulty following movie or TV show plots.
- You have your phone, TV, or radio at max volume – if you can hear the TV, phone, or radio better than you can hear face-to-face conversations, check the volume settings on your devices. You could have these devices set at excessive volumes while at the same time thinking that everyone else speaks too softly.
- You are always asking people to repeat themselves – 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 misunderstand what people are saying – consonants are higher-pitched, and therefore more difficult to hear than vowels. Since consonants convey most of the meaning in a sentence, speech comprehension suffers.
- You have difficulty hearing all the words in a conversation – certain sounds and letters are more difficult to hear than others. This means you can hear most of the words in a sentence, but that you have to fill in the blanks.
- You have trouble hearing when your back is to the speaker – you may rely on lip reading, body language, and other cues to meaning more than you realize. When you’re not facing the speaker and can’t use these cues, you may have trouble understanding speech.
- You have trouble hearing with lots of background noise – as the hearing loss gets worse, competing noise becomes more of a problem. You may be able to hear speech in quiet environments, but it becomes increasingly difficult to follow conversations in a noisy setting like a restaurant.
- People complain that you shout or have the TV too loud – people may comment that you have the TV too loud or that you have the tendency to shout. 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 steps to start living a better, more productive, and healthier life.