The thought of losing your hearing can be scary and daunting. Whilst there’s less resistance, around worsening eye-sight, and wearing glasses, there’s more anxiety around wearing a hearing aid and worsening hearing. But with one in six people affected by some level of hearing loss, you’re far from alone. It can be difficult to detect that hearing loss occurred, especially if it’s been incremental over a long period. But here are some things you should look out for.
Turning up the sound on the TV or radio
If you’ve noticed you’re having to turn the sound up on devices on a daily basis, it suggests you may have a problem with your ears. Of course, there are some tv programmes where the sound has appeared muffled and muted, but by and large, if you’re watching and listening to things and you’re struggling to hear it might be worth getting them tested.
Struggling to understand speech
From time to time we may miss something that someone said, but if you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves on a regular basis, or you find you’re only hearing parts of a conversation, it could be a sign of possible hearing loss. Struggling to understand people while talking when there is background noise is another telltale sign.
Missing calls, doorbells, or alarms
Some hearing loss means that certain sound frequencies, pitches, and tones can’t be heard. Common issues include missing phone calls, not hearing the doorbell, or alarms. If you work or worked in an environment with high noise levels, then you may be suffering from noise induced hearing loss. This can be temporary, but if you’re exposed to high noise levels over a long period of time, it could cause permanent damage.
Straining to hear
If you’re having to move your head to get closer to hear things, there may be hearing loss in one ear. Similarly, cupping the ear to drown out background noise is a sign of hearing impairment too. While both of these measures may help in the short-term, in the long-run and with continued deterioration it is likely to reach a point where they are no longer effective.
You don’t enjoy having conversations
Many people who suffer with hearing loss find that conversations have a draining affect. Whether you realise it or not, you’re having to work extra hard to concentrate, from lip reading to straining, focusing on the speaker to actively drowning out background noise. This extra effort to keep up can be tiring, and you may find that you no longer enjoy social gatherings as much but can’t pinpoint why.
If you’ve recently noticed these things happening, it might be worth getting in touch with Phonak who can find a hearing care specialist near you.