Did you know that, according to the NIDCD, approximately 15% of American adults (that’s 37.5 million of us) aged over 18 report some trouble hearing?
To some degree, hearing loss is considered part and parcel of getting old. Notable hearing loss, or hearing loss as a younger adult, however, is something to be taken very seriously and addressed by a medical professional. The problem is, though, you might not quite notice if it’s happening to you.
Because hearing loss can happen very gradually, it can become the new norm for the victim without them even realising it. There are, however, a few key signs that could indicate you may be struggling from a hearing problem. If you fit any of the criteria below, it might be time to book a visit to your doctor.
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“Say that again”
If you’re constantly wondering why people are talking quietly or mumbling, the problem might be with you rather than them, and asking people to repeat themselves regularly is an early indicator that you’re hearing might not be where it should.
Not hearing what people are saying properly can affect your communication and your relationships with others, so don’t ignore if you’re not getting every word of what someone is saying.
Trouble in a crowd
A lot of background noise can make it difficult for anyone to pick up a certain voice or sound, but if you’re really struggling to pick out the things you want to and should be hearing in a busy place like a restaurant or at a party, it can really affect your enjoyment of whatever event you’re at.
The better you can hear and understand people in lively environments, the more likely you are to participate in and enjoy those environments, so make sure you’re not losing out because of a hearing issue.
Where’s the remote?
The volume you need your TV at to hear it comfortably is often a good indicator of where you’re hearing is. If you’re cranking up the volume on your favourite show and you notice other people wincing or covering their ears, it’s time to seek help.
Ringing in your ears
The sound of ringing in your ears, particularly after you’ve been exposed to loud noises, is known as tinnitus. If you’re experiencing this ringing sound often, regardless of the noise environment around you, it’s worth your time to book a hearing test.
Likewise, if any of your family members, young or old, are ever complaining of a ringing noise, it shouldn’t be ignored.
Missing everyday sounds
Everyday sounds can be anything you’re using to hearing on a daily basis. The sound of birds tweeting, your alarm going off in the morning or your phone letting you know you’ve got a message, for example.
If the birds aren’t signing anymore or you’re missing your alarm or a phone call here and there, it’s worth asking yourself why that is. Everyday sounds are not something to be taking for granted, so make sure you can enjoy them as you should.
Trouble hearing someone over the phone, particularly in noisier environments, is something many of us go through. If this is happening to you regularly though, and especially if you’re finding every phone call to be a bit of a workout for your ears, you should consider a hearing test.
All of the above might not seem like life and death events, but untreated hearing loss can severely impair your day-to-day life. If you can’t hear your loved ones well, your relationships and communication might be affected. If you’re unable to hear people at events, your enjoyment of them will be dulled. Research has in fact shown that hearing loss can regularly lead to people suffering from embarrassment, isolation and depression, so if you can avoid it, why wouldn’t you?
Booking an online hearing test is incredibly easy to do and will take just three minutes to complete. You never know, it could be the most worthwhile three minutes of your year.