Sometimes recognizing hearing loss isn’t as easy as say noticing that your socks are mismatched. A lot of people go years without realizing their hearing has even changed. And that’s a big deal. Your ears play critical roles within your body, including your brain and even mild hearing loss can impact your health. So what are some of the signs of hearing loss that you should be looking for?
Asking to have things repeated. Everyone needs to have things repeated now and again. But if you ask more and more often and sometimes feel “outside” the conversation, you might want to have your hearing professionally checked. Asking to have things repeated can quickly turn into a bad habit. Sadly, a lot of times people will recognize they are bothering others by asking to have things repeated but won’t recognize their hearing changes. Instead they begin to avoid conversations. Don’t isolate yourself,recognize this sign of hearing loss and remember there is something you can do about it.
Buzzing or whistling in the ears. Hearing a buzzing, ringing, or whistling sound with no actual noise present is called tinnitus. These phantom sounds happen to a lot of people and are an early sign of hearing loss. The good news is many hearing aid manufacturers offer hearing aids specifically designed to help people with tinnitus. And many people say using hearing aids in general helps to alleviate their tinnitus symptoms.
Your normal is your spouse’s loud. Turning the volume of the television so loud that your spouse complains or being told you’re speaking too loud when you think you’re talking at a normal level, are classic signs of hearing loss. Frequently friends and loved ones notice your symptoms of hearing loss before you do. One easy way to gauge your hearing is by becoming aware of how others react to things you don’t think are too loud.
Frustration with background noise. Background noise, like in a restaurant, can make it hard for everyone to hear, but it’s even harder when you have some degree of hearing loss. People with unchanged hearing can better focus on the sounds they want to hear while tuning out those they don’t want to hear. People with hearing loss have a more difficult time with background noise. Today’s hearing aid manufacturers are aware of this so they’ve developed hearing aids that hone in on wanted noise and dismiss unwanted background noise. Basically, these hearing aids simulate the organic way we are meant to hear.
Some sounds hurt. When some things seem unreasonably loud it can be a sign of hearing loss. It might seem weird, but it’s true. Finding things are “too loud” or being repeatedly startled by sounds happens because you can’t hear certain ranges of sounds. In a sense, you’ve gotten used to silence. So when a range you can hear happens, bam! It can be startling. Try to pay attention to how often sounds startle you. If it keeps happening more and more, you should have your hearing checked by a hearing care professional.
Dropped conversation cues. If you’ve recently been in a conversation with someone and it seemed they suddenly got quieter or expected a response but you had no idea why, you could’ve been experiencing a dropped conversation cue. This can happen because hearing loss is experienced in ranges. So you might hear one range just fine, but when the range shifts, you experience a dropped signal—sort of like your cell phone can go out of range. Today’s hearing aids are tailored to your individual hearing loss. That means they grab and deliver the sounds that you are missing, making it easier for you to keep up with the conversation.
Two minute hearing quiz
If you’re here to take this quiz chances are you may experience occasional difficulty hearing in certain situations and are interested in finding out more. Or maybe you are interested in learning if the symptoms you notice in a spouse or someone close to you are signs of hearing loss.
Either way, you’re looking to get a better idea if it’s time to take the next step. Let YourHearing help you get started.
Give yourself the following points for each answer to the questions below:
Almost always: 2 points
Occasionally: 1 point
Never: 0 points
I miss important telephone calls because it is difficult to hear what people are saying.
I have trouble following the conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time.
I turn the volume up on the TV so loud that others complain.
I have difficulty following conversation in noisy surroundings such as restaurants or at parties.
People’s voices often sound mumbled or muffled.
I get confused about where sounds come from.
I frequently ask others to repeat themselves.
I have a harder time understanding women and small children.
I have worked in noisy environments (example: construction, manufacturing, military).
I need people to face me while speaking so I can lip read.
People sometimes say “never mind” when I ask them to repeat themselves.
I sometimes answer the wrong question or give an inappropriate response to a question.
I avoid social activities because I can’t hear well.
Your Total = _____
*This is not a professional hearing test and we recommend having your hearing evaluated by a qualified specialist.
0 – 4 Your score indicates a low possibility of hearing loss.
5 – 9 Your score indicates you may be experiencing some degree of hearing loss.
10+ Your score indicates a high probability of hearing loss. Schedule a hearing screening at a credentialed clinic.
The only way to be sure if the symptoms you’re experiencing are related to hearing loss is to schedule a hearing test. A hearing care professional will be able to tell you the type and degree of hearing loss and offer a professional recommendation on what type of hearing aid, if needed, will suit your listening needs and lifestyle. YourHearing.com can help match you with a hearing professional in your area, find a clinic and schedule an appointment.