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If you have hearing loss, you could be missing out on a lot of the sounds around you without even realizing it. Hearing loss is a gradual process, and you might not notice the small changes right away. Think back to your hearing abilities a few months ago. Were you able to hear someone speaking from another room, or follow conversations easily without asking someone to repeat themselves? If you’ve noticed any changes to your hearing health in the last 12 months, it’s time to take a hearing test.
Asking People to Repeat Themselves
One of the most obvious signs of hearing loss is asking people to repeat themselves. As you struggle with hearing loss, one of the first things to be affected is your ability to follow conversations, and catch everything that’s said the first time around. It can be hard to hear conversations, especially in places with a lot of background noise. Not only does hearing loss reduce your quality of life, it affects your loved ones, and they may feel as though their relationship with you is suffering. If you think that everyone around you has started mumbling or speaking too fast, it’s time to take a hearing test and see if the problem is in your ears.
Turning Up the Volume Again
Have you been turning up the volume on the TV, radio, or phone? Do you watch TV with the volume a few degrees louder than you did a year ago? If you’re always reaching for the volume control, and still can’t hear what’s being said during the program, you probably have hearing loss. Your family may complain that the TV is too loud, and that the volume is uncomfortable for them. Turning up the volume is another sign that it’s time to take a hearing test.
Difficulty Talking on the Phone
Along with cranking up the volume, you may find it increasingly difficult to talk on the phone. Have you avoided answering the phone the last few months? With hearing loss, sounds on the phone can seem muffled, and you struggle to make out what’s being said. You may still be able to hear on the phone in your own home, but you can’t talk on your cellphone in a place with background noise. If you’ve been avoiding phone calls, and don’t answer when your kids are calling, it’s time to take a hearing test. Untreated hearing loss can lead to feelings of depression and isolation, so treat your hearing loss, and answer the phone.
Can’t Hear in Crowded Places
A common sign of hearing loss is not being able to hear clearly in crowded places. When your ears can’t hear all the sounds, it’s difficult to determine which sounds are important speech sounds, and which are distracting sounds. Your ears will give equal importance to all sounds, and you’ll struggle to pick out the sounds you’re straining to hear. You may stop enjoying going out, and stop attending social events. Don’t let hearing loss affect your quality of life, but do the right thing for your ears and take a hearing test.
Tinnitus in Your Ears
Have you been noticing an annoying ringing, buzzing, or whistling sound in your ears? This is tinnitus, and it’s often an early warning sign of hearing loss. Tinnitus can make it difficult to focus on tasks, accomplish goals, or fall asleep at night. Take tinnitus seriously, and schedule a hearing test if you notice an ongoing ringing in your ears.
Losing Everyday Sounds
When was the last time you heard the kids playing in the backyard, or noticed the chirping of birds outside the window? Perhaps you’ve missed the sound of the doorbell, the alarm clock, or the stove timer quite a few times in the last week. Losing everyday sounds is a common sign of hearing loss, and missing out on these sounds reduces your quality of life, and affects your safety. When you lose everyday sounds, it’s time to take a hearing test.
If you’ve noticed these or any other signs of hearing loss, call your hearing health specialist to book a hearing test and find out more about your unique hearing loss and hearing needs.