Do you find yourself turning up the TV or radio volume more than usual? Do you sometimes not hear your phone or the doorbell? You may even have been out at a restaurant recently and found it stressful and difficult to know what people at your table were talking about.
These can be signs that you are experiencing hearing loss. While hearing loss is sometimes sudden, it is often gradual and you may not notice it at first, and often not until it is very pronounced. Sometimes it is someone else, like a close family member, who notices it first. However being aware of the early signs can help you identify the problem and know when to seek help.
Early warning signs of hearing loss include having to ask people to repeat what they have said, and having difficulty following conversations, especially when there is background noise.
Other signs of hearing loss include feelings of ear fullness or pressure, ear noises such as ringing or buzzing, dizziness, and turning up the TV and radio volume. At home, where it is quiet people often do not realise they are experiencing hearing loss, even though they have to turn up their TV and radio. It is when people are out and there is background noise and they have trouble hearing what people are saying or things sounds muffled that they realise something is wrong, needing to look at someone’s mouth when they are speaking in order to be able to understand them is quite an obvious sign of hearing loss.
People often try to compensate for their hearing loss, like sitting very close to or directly face to face with people who are talking to them or avoiding certain social situations, often without realising why or what they are doing.
Noel Cullen, Hidden Hearing Audiologist, said research shows that hearing problems in Ireland are on the increase.
“Today, there are almost half a million people in Ireland with some form of hearing loss. 20% of people aged 50 years and older experience a disabling hearing loss (225,000 people in Ireland), while 44% of people aged 70 years and over experience a disabling hearing loss 145,000 Irish adults). Based on current trends, we are expecting this number to rise dramatically in the coming years unless we do something about it,” she said. Thus knowing the early signs of hearing loss are essential.
‘Know the Signs’ of Hearing Difficulties:
H- OME - Do you find it hard to hear the telephone, doorbell, radio or TV at home?
E- NGAGE – Do you find it hard to engage in conversation with others in crowds?
A – SK – Do you have to ask people to speak more clearly?
R – EPEAT – Do people often have to repeat themselves for you?
It is important to get your hearing tested if you have any concerns. Hidden Hearing provide free hearing consultation and expert advice for all patients. If you have any questions about hearing loss, contact Hidden Hearing on Freephone 1800 370 000 or Contact Us via email or contact form.