What are the common signs of hearing loss?
Hearing loss is a normal consequence of ageing, with 42% of those aged over 50 years experiencing some hearing loss, increasing to 70% for those people aged over 70 years.
Although hearing loss can have have a sudden onset, it usually happens very gradually, and, consequently, you may not even notice it happening. In this article, we outline some of the key signs to look out for that might indicate that you have a hearing loss.
Six key signs that might indicate a hearing loss
1. Do you struggle to hear in group conversations, especially in places with background noise?
It is true that hearing with background noise is always more difficult, even if you have perfect hearing. However, if you often find yourself struggling to hear when having coffee with friends in a cafe, or when having a drink down the local pub, it’s likely you may have a degree of hearing loss.
2. Do you find that people mumble a lot?
Feeling that people mumble is a common complaint from people who experience a hearing loss. It is common for hearing loss to first occur in the high pitched range. High pitch speech sounds (like “s”, “f”, and “th”) are already soft in volume, so any reduced hearing in those pitch regions makes it difficult to hear clearly.
3. Do you have ringing or buzzing noises in your ears?
Noises in the ears, also known as tinnitus is experienced by 10-15% of people. If you experience tinnitus, there is commonly an accompanying degree hearing loss. While there is no cure for tinnitus, the good news is that it can be managed. Hearing aids are a good option where hearing loss is also present.
4. Do you need the TV volume up higher than you used to?
Because hearing loss creeps up very gradually and our compensatory adjustments are also gradual, this isn’t always easy to recognise, and normally someone else may point it out to you.
If you’re worried your TV might be too loud, ask a friend or family member if the volume is at a comfortable level for them.
5. Do you mishear conversation and often ask for repeats?
Constantly asking people to repeat themselves can be really frustrating for both parties. Nodding or laughing in the hope that you’ve given an appropriate reaction can sometimes be embarrassing if you get it wrong, and it can be exhausting if you’re straining to hear all the time.
6. Are you exhausted at the end of the day?
It requires a lot of mental effort to follow conversations all day if you don’t hear well. You may think you have coped well and hidden the fact that you haven’t heard clearly, but by the time you are ready for bed you will be exhausted.
Hearing loss solutions
Just because age related hearing loss is normal, that doesn’t mean that you need to tolerate it interfering with your quality of life.
In most cases hearing aids can significantly improve the quality of your listening experiences. Yet, sadly, it takes an average of 7 years for someone with a hearing difficulty to seek help.
If any of the statements above apply to you, it is advisable that you get your hearing checked. Your Hearing Consultants are here to give you expert advice, when you’re ready.
Our online hearing test is often the first step in determining whether you may have a hearing loss. Alternatively, you can book an appointment for us to complete a full diagnostic hearing assessment, either in your home or at one of our local hearing clinics.
If you would first like to speak with one of our audiology team, please contact us to book a FREE telephone consultation. Our audiologist will contact you to listen to your concerns and advise you on the best next steps towards improving your hearing.