Are you having issues with your hearing? Do you find yourself watching the TV on full volume and asking your friends to repeat themselves? You may think it’s nothing to worry about, but it’s possible you could be experiencing hearing loss.
Impaired hearing affects 38.2 million Americans, and it’s a vastly more common problem than most people realize. Problems with your heari
ng are generally irreversible, so you can’t expect your symptoms to get better with time. If you are concerned that your ability to hear might be at risk, you should act right away. The sooner a problem is picked up, the more likely you will be to save your hearing and prevent it from worsening.
But how can you tell if you have hearing loss? If you frequently experience any of the following symptoms, it would be a good idea to book yourself in for a hearing test.
You Say “What?” A Lot
Some people speak poorly, whether they are mumbling, slurring their words, or just getting the pronunciation wrong. So just because you can never understand what your coworker Greg is saying to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have hearing loss. However, if you regularly find yourself asking different people to repeat themselves, this might suggest the issue lies with you, not with them.
People Complain Your TV/Music is Too Loud
Too many people listen to their music at full blast or watch TV at theater volumes, which can have incredibly damaging effects on the ears over time. Our ears aren’t designed for this kind of strain, so a sensible volume should be maintained. But if you are struggling to tell when your television or music is playing too loudly, there might be something preventing the full range of sound signals from entering. If strangers on the bus are tutting at you when you have your headphones in, or your family members grabbing the remote in frustration, it may be time for a test.
You Struggle to Hear on the Telephone
In conversation, we get a large proportion of our understanding from visual cues such as facial expressions and gestures. This is why many people with hearing loss don’t realize it early on, because they have all this other information to fill in the gaps left by their hearing. However, when speaking on the phone you have nothing to rely on but sound. So if you find yourself struggling to understand phone conversations with distant relatives, there might be cause for concern.
You Struggle to Follow a Conversation with Background Noise
For people with hearing loss, background noise can make it incredibly difficult to maintain a conversation. You might find that you have difficulty chatting in busy restaurants or the car, for example.
You Feel Exhausted After Talking
When you have even the slightest degree of hearing loss, you will always be straining to understand what people are saying, probably without even realizing it. This can use up a lot of your mental energy, so you might find yourself finishing conversations feeling drained.
You Misunderstand What People Say
Having hearing loss can lead to all kinds of embarrassing scenarios. Perhaps your coworker asks you if you had a good night, and you mistakenly think they’re challenging you to a fight. Everyone has these awkward moments occasionally, but if it’s happening every day, you might want to get your ears looked at.
You Struggle to Hear Children and Women
People with hearing loss generally tend to have more trouble with sound in the higher frequencies. For this reason, you might have more difficulty understanding people with higher voices, such as women and children. If you can converse fluently with your male friends yet struggle to hear your wife and kids, this is a clear sign of the beginnings of hearing loss.
Conversations Are Frustrating
When you have hearing loss, conversations can be frustrating and often anger-inducing. Being unable to take in information on the first try is often irritating. And not just for you. The people you are continually asking to repeat themselves might be getting flustered too. If your conversations end up with everyone feeling annoyed, do yourself and your loved one a favor by consulting a doctor.
So what should you do if you are experiencing any of these symptoms? The first step is to book a hearing test with an audiologist. They will take a look at your ears and test your hearing to determine whether there is any cause for concern. If you do have signs of hearing loss, the next step may be to look into further treatment, such as hearing aids. You should also take care to monitor your behaviors, such as how you listen to music and how often you spend time in noisy environments. Learn more about the steps you can take to protect your hearing.
Thank you for reading!