Signs of hearing loss
If you have hearing loss, wouldn’t you know it? Not always. Hearing loss can begin long before symptoms are noticed and progress slowly over time. If you are experiencing the subtle changes of age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), one of the most common health conditions affecting us as we grow older, the shift from hearing well to hearing difficulties can be so gradual you may not realise how much you are missing. In fact, you may subconsciously adjust your everyday activities and social interactions to cope with hearing difficulties, gradually diminishing your ability to live your life to its fullest.
Everyday annoyances are earliest signs of hearing loss
Hearing loss interferes with daily life. If you are experiencing any of the following situations, it may be time to schedule a check-up with a hearing care professional.
People are mumbling
When you have hearing loss, the inability to hear certain sounds makes it difficult to understand some words. People, especially women and children, may seem to be talking too softly or not enunciating their words. Chances are you find yourself saying, “Can you repeat?” and “Pardon?” more times than you can count.
Restaurants are getting noisier
The number-one complaint of people with hearing loss is an inability to hear in restaurants. With hearing loss, background noises – clanking dishes, conversations at other tables and piped-in music – can make it difficult to follow the conversation.
Social gatherings aren’t fun anymore
When you have hearing loss, people talking in groups, music in the background and other competing sounds can make it difficult for you to enjoy get-togethers with family and friends. In frustration, you may find yourself “sitting out” of the fun or heading home early.
Conversations take too much effort
Are you exhausted at the end of the day or the end of the meeting at work? The stress of straining to hear what others are saying can take its toll on your energy.
Telephone conversations are a struggle
Telephone and especially mobile phone transmission is not perfect. Most people can handle the shortfall and fill in the gaps. Hearing loss compounds the problem and you may struggle to fill in the gaps or avoid phone calls and resort to texting.
Hearing loss affects you & your loved ones
Hearing loss can take an emotional toll on you and your loved ones. If one or more of these descriptions ring true to you, hearing loss may be the culprit.
Your volume control is out of control
Your family and friends complain that you turn up the volume too loud when you listen to music or the radio. It’s a constant battle for you to enjoy TV with family or friends at a sound level that works for all.
Your ears are ringing
Tinnitus or ringing in the ears is sometimes the first sign of hearing loss in older people. It might be a slight annoyance or make it difficult for you to concentrate, sleep, work and even maintain relationships. Up to 90 percent of people with tinnitus have some level of noise-induced hearing loss.
You’re out of balance
Hearing loss may be a sign of an underlying condition that is also impairing your balance. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that even a mild degree of hearing loss tripled the risk of an accidental fall.
You’re opting out
Hearing loss is putting you in solitary confinement. You’re embarrassed to meet new people. You’re afraid to join in because you may not understand what is being said. You withdraw – it’s simply easier to live in isolation and quiet.
You’re not yourself
You feel depressed, distracted, bored. You’re no longer socially engaged, one of the primary ways to stimulate your brain and slow down cognitive decline. Studies have shown that cognitive decline is accelerated for people who have hearing loss and don’t use hearing aids.
Take the first step to better hearing
If you recognise yourself in any of the ten signs outlined, we encourage you to schedule a hearing check-up with a Hidden Hearing audiologist. A hearing evaluation is simple and painless. If you find you do have hearing loss, we will help you choose from a wide range of discreet, modern hearing aids that will not only help you hear better but will improve your overall quality of life.