Signs of Hearing Loss
Recognizing the Signs of Hearing Loss
If you think someone you know might have a hearing loss, take a look at this list of common signs. Do any of the following sound familiar?
- Appear to hear people talk but have difficulty understanding some of the words
- Constantly asking people to repeat themselves
- Have a hard time understanding women and children’s voices
- Have a hard time understanding in a crowd
- Hard to understand on the phone
- Favour one ear over the other
- Complain of a ringing sensation in one or both ears
- Often appear uncomfortable in social occasions they use to enjoy
- Seem withdrawn, depressed or irritable
- Friends or family members have noticed their difficulty hearing
While a few “yes” answers don’t automatically indicate a hearing loss, it does suggest the need for further evaluation.
What You Need to Know
- Hearing loss develops later in life, comes on slowly, is permanent, and often gets gradually worse.
- Most of these losses can be helped effectively by individually selected prescribed and fitted hearing aids.
- Some adults can have their hearing corrected by an ENT or surgeon, so it is important to have an evaluation to make this determination.
Hearing Loss Indicators
If you agree with one or more of the following statements, it may indicate the need to seek a complete hearing screening.
- You “favour” one ear over the other.
- You have been told that the TV is too loud.
- You have difficulty following conversations in groups and noisy places.
- You ask people to repeat themselves, especially women and young children.
- Hearing from a distance is more trouble than it use to be, such as in church or theatre.
- Family and friends have commented on your inability to hear.
Why You May Be Unaware of the Problem
It is typical for individuals with a mild to moderate hearing loss to be unaware of their problem, even though family and friends are quite aware of it.
Hearing loss is invisible and almost always painless. There are no physical warning signs, except in some cases there may be ringing in the ear(s). The real reason hearing loss “sneaks” up on you is that the change is so gradual. Most hearing losses develop over a period of 25-30 years. By age 50 or 60, there can be enough deterioration to interfere with conversation.
Most hearing professionals believe that hearing loss in older adults is the accumulation of two or more causes, such as exposure to loud noises and family history or simply the natural aging process.
Hearing loss can prevent the quality of life you’ve hoped for. It can restrict your ability to interact with others, prevent you from hearing important information, cause misunderstandings, heighten stress causing unnecessary fatigue, and filter out the subtle sounds of nature. Don’t let poor hearing make you miss out on the many good and vital messages of life.