Know the Signs of Hearing Loss
How do you know if hearing loss is affecting your life? The answer isn’t always as obvious as you might think. For many people, hearing loss happens so gradually that they continue to think their hearing is fine, even when it’s not.
Regular checkups are the best way to know the condition of your hearing health. If you haven’t had a professional exam in a while, ask your primary care doctor or visit an audiologist. Yearly health check-ups are always a good idea — and your hearing health is no exception. It’s never too early to get your first hearing test to determine your current hearing abilities. In the event of future changes, the first test can be used as a baseline.
You might already recognize signs of hearing loss on your own. If you answer yes to any of these questions, it may be time to schedule a hearing test. These are some of the most common symptoms of hearing loss:
- Do other people frequently complain that your TV or radio is too loud?
- Do you have difficulty focusing on conversations in noisy situations, like restaurants, malls, and meetings?
- Do you have difficulty following conversations involving two or more people?
- Do you have trouble understanding someone if you are not standing face-to-face?
- Do everyday sounds sometimes seem muffled?
- Do you have particular difficulty hearing women’s and children’s voices?
- Do you sometimes give unrelated answers or comments to questions and conversations?
- Do you sometimes have a ringing sensation in your ears?
Hearing loss can be related to environmental and medical conditions. Do any of these apply to you?
- Exposure to loud sounds over a long period of time
- A single exposure to an explosive noise
- Diabetes, heart, circulatory, or thyroid conditions
- Family history of hearing loss
- Certain medications (ask your doctor or audiologist)
There are also emotional signs that you are having hearing difficulties. Do any of these describe feelings you are having?
- Feeling stressed out when listening to someone
- Frustration that people mumble or don’t speak up
- Embarrassment about not following conversations
- Feeling nervous that you won’t understand something
- Avoiding social situations
- Not enjoying being with people as much as you used to
You may be surprised to recognize some of these experiences and feelings as your own. If so, don’t be embarrassed — get your hearing checked. Most people are pleased by how simple the treatment process can be and are delighted by what a difference it can make in their lives. Right now, there are tens of millions of Americans who could be helped by hearing aids.1 Check out Sonic for more information on the wide range of hearing aids available.
Make a note of your experiences and visit an audiologist or other hearing care professional. Find the nearest one using the Sonic Hearing Center Locator. Have your hearing tested and discuss the available options to improve your overall hearing, your emotional connections to friends and family, and your enjoyment of the sounds of everyday life.
Make everyday sounds better by setting up an appointment with a hearing care professional today. You have nothing to lose and so much life to gain.
1. NIDCD Epidemiology and Statistics Program, based on December 2015 Census Bureau estimates of the noninstitutionalized U.S. population, personal communication; May 2016.