Signs of Hearing Loss
Do you suspect that you have hearing loss?
How can you even tell?
Since we use our hearing so frequently and subconsciously in our daily life, sometimes we tend to take our hearing sense for granted. Our hearing becomes part of our everyday background, and we process human voices, music, city noises, and many other sounds without a second thought. Unless there is a significant event that may cause a sudden drop in our hearing ability, hearing loss is typically a slow decline and happens without any obvious warning.
Hearing loss can present itself to you differently, depending on your lifestyle and the situations in which you most often communicate. How to tell if you have hearing loss? Here we present to you some symptoms and signs of hearing loss to watch out for.
If you answer yes to more than two of the following signs, it would be a good idea to get your hearing tested.
Recognising the common signs of hearing loss
1. Difficulty hearing someone speaking in a group meeting or noisy room.
There you are, trying to enjoy your dinner in a restaurant with your friends or family, but all that background noise is making it difficult for you to hear the conversation. People with hearing loss often have problems filtering out the background noise and focusing on the speech. This is a very common complaint mentioned to our audiologist. If you find that this happens to you often, it is time for a hearing evaluation.
2. Difficulty hearing people if they’re not facing you.
When you find it difficult to have a conversation with someone not facing you, that meants you might be relying on lip-reading too much. While everyone lip reads to some extent and it is actually a useful tool for communication, a person with hearing loss is just more dependent on it.
3. Regularly having to ask people to repeat themselves.
It is absolutely fine to ask people to repeat or clarify when you did not hear some of the words. However, if you find yourself asking people to repeat more and more often, it could mean that you are developing hearing loss. Don’t let “what?” or “sorry?” be a common word in your vocabulary.
4. Difficulty hearing the television or radio
Have your family members or friends complained to you that your television or radio is too loud? Well, we know that certain TV/radio shows can be hard to follow, especially when the background music is so loud that it drowns out the dialogue. However, if you consistently need the TV/radio turned up louder than others, it could be an indication that you are developing a hearing loss.
5. Male voices are easier to understand than female or children’s voices.
It is more likely for hearing loss to occur in the higher frequency range, especially with age. Since women and children speak at higher frequencies, it is common for someone with hearing loss to consistently feel that women or children are mumbling. When that happens, it is time to organise an appointment with an audiologist.
6. Tinnitus or ringing in your ears.
An early sign of hearing loss is hearing a sound in the ear that isn’t heard in external surroundings. The sound typically takes the form of a ringing, buzzing, scratching or whistling. This sensation is called tinnitus. Tinnitus can be intermittent or constant, and it could be occurring in one ear or both ears. It might also be a symptom of things other than hearing loss, like stress.
7. Other signs of hearing loss include:
- People appear to be mumbling all the time.
- Hearing better in one ear than the other.
- Feeling tired from straining to hear conversations.
- People telling you that you are speaking too loudly
- Smiling, nodding and pretending to understand what people are saying