Losing your hearing can be disorienting, and it’s common to misinterpret the signs of hearing loss or blame others for your inability to hear. You may have difficulty understanding conversations with friends and find it difficult to communicate. Knowing the signs of hearing loss will help you recognize hearing loss in yourself or a loved one.
Hearing loss affects millions of people in the United States, and for those over 65, around one in three will have hearing loss. While hearing loss can be sudden, it’s more common to have gradual loss over time. This makes it difficult to recognize. You are used to making small adjustments for your slow hearing losses, and it’s hard to know when it becomes more than just an annoyance. Here are some common signs of hearing loss. Do any of these sound familiar?
The most frustrating sign of hearing loss is having trouble following conversations. Rather than listening to the content of what’s being said, you use all your energy straining to hear the words. Family members are often the first to recognize your hearing loss, because they have to repeat themselves frequently.
Do you think others are mumbling, so you accuse everyone of speaking too softly? Unfortunately, with hearing loss, speech recognition becomes difficult so even if people are speaking clearly, you may struggle to make sense of what they are saying.
If you are able to understand conversations only when the person speaking is facing you, it’s a sign of hearing loss. You are relying on lip reading and facial cues to understand, rather than on hearing. When you’re having a conversation with several people who are all talking at once, you have a hard time to understand what’s being said, even if you strain to hear.
Do you have more trouble understanding your wife or your grandchildren? This is because the first sounds that are affected by hearing loss are high frequency sounds like the voices of women and children.
For those with hearing loss, dinner parties at a favorite restaurant can turn into a nightmare. Even if your hearing isn’t so bad at home, in restaurants or loud places with lots of background noise you will struggle to hear. You’ll notice this in shopping malls, movie theatres, auditoriums, a meeting at work, and even in the car.
A sign of hearing loss is feeling overwhelmed by social interactions and choosing to stay home alone rather than go to a crowded or noisy place. Are you embarrassed to meet new people? With hearing loss, you may struggle to hear what they are saying, so it can be stressful or uncomfortable.
The Phone and The TV
Another common sign of hearing loss you’ll recognize is difficulty understanding phone conversations or dialogue in a TV program. You max out the volume on the phone speakers, and turn up the TV every time but still struggle to hear. If your family members have asked you regularly to turn down the volume, it may be an indication of hearing loss.
Tinnitus is the uncomfortable ringing, buzzing or hissing sound in your ears shows up whenever you’re in a quiet place with no background sounds. No, you’re not going crazy! Tinnitus is a common condition that appears in 90% of hearing loss cases. If you are experiencing tinnitus, it may be time to seek a hearing evaluation.
If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, it’s time to book a hearing test and get fitted for hearing aids. Be honest with yourself about the signs, and seek treatment. Hearing aids will give you confidence in conversations at home and at work, easy listening to the phone or TV, and relief from tinnitus.
There’s no reason to live with untreated hearing loss! Contact us at Preferred Hearing Solutions today.