You May Have Hearing Loss If…

Bird chirping, people chatting at a restaurant, the air conditioning humming in your home … the beauty of sound is all around us. However, are you aware of sounds you no longer hear?

Signs of hearing loss differ. They can come on suddenly, depending if you have been in an accident or have experienced ear trauma. Usually, signs of hearing loss emerge slowly. If you or a loved one experience any of these situations, see a hearing care professional for a hearing screening.

  • Frequently ask others to repeat themselves
    While this is a clear sign of hearing issues, it might not necessarily be tied to the volume of conversation but more of an understanding of what was said.

  • Turn the volume on the TV and/or radio to a level others find loud
    Turning the volume up a bit to catch conversations is okay; however, if the level consistently becomes uncomfortable for others in the room or is louder than normal conversation, it might be a sign of a hearing issue.

  • Have a hard time hearing on the phone or without seeing other people’s faces
    Many people who experience hearing loss become increasingly and unknowingly dependent on reading people’s lips and facial expressions to understand what is being said.

  • Have trouble understanding conversation in noisy environments
    People with hearing loss often have a hard time tuning out background noise, such as in places like busy restaurants or sporting events.

  • Answer or respond inappropriately in conversations
    A common situation with hearing loss, the person might act as if he or she has understood what was being said either from being tired of constantly asking for repetition or not fully comprehending what was said.

  • Have difficulty hearing women or children’s voices
    People with high-frequency hearing loss often miss these sounds or find them difficult to hear and understand.

  • Feel like others are mumbling their words or sounds are muffled
    While speech and noises can be heard, they might appear as if they’re coming from underwater.

  • Miss important information in meetings
    Being able to process multiple sounds can deteriorate over time. People with hearing loss might have a harder time keeping up with conversations with two or more coworkers, especially in a crowded meeting.

  • Avoid social situations you once found enjoyable
    Not being able to hear well can create anxiety from straining to hear what friends and family are trying to say. People with undiagnosed hearing loss find themselves withdrawing from social activities.

  • Are regularly told by others to have your hearing checked
    Family members and friends are usually the first to notice a change in someone’s health before the person does.

  • Have ringing in your ears
    This could be tinnitus, which is basically sounds — like ringing in the ears, whistling or buzzing — that are heard by the person affected in the absence of any external sounds.

  • Have a family history of hearing loss
    Inherited genetic defects are just one factor that can lead to hearing loss, which can happen at any stage of a person’s life.

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