There are plenty of reasons why hearing loss occurs. Genetics, noise exposure, disease, and general health issues can contribute to hearing loss. But for many people, the process of aging can mean changes in hearing ability. With 30% of adults over 65 and almost half of adults over 75 experience difficulties in hearing, the problem is hardly uncommon. Although the causes behind hearing loss are many, most that experience it has one thing in common. It happens gradually. So gradually, that those suffering from hearing loss go an average of 7 years before seeking treatment. Some even find that their family and friends are the first to notice signs of hearing loss.
But like most health issues, the first step toward recognizing a potential hearing problem is knowing what signs to look for. These common symptoms of hearing loss can help you determine if it's time to visit an audiologist for testing.
- You have difficulty hearing on the phone. Although telephone conversations are usually more challenging than face-to-face interactions, having real difficulty understanding speech on the phone is a good sign of hearing loss. If you have turned up the volume on your phone to the maximum setting, and you’re still having a hard time hearing the voice on the other end, it might be time to get your hearing tested.
- Friends and family complain your TV volume is too loud. If your family and friends are reaching for the remote control to turn down your TV’s volume (the volume you turned up in order to understand the conversations on your TV) you might have hearing loss. This is an easy sign to miss, as most people slowly turn up the volume over time as their hearing worsens. Your difficulty hearing on the TV may not be your TV show’s characters speaking at a whisper.
- Background noises make it harder to understand speech. Having a hard time listening to someone speaking with background noise can be a symptom of hearing loss. If you notice that dinner at your favorite restaurants is less enjoyable because the clinking dishes drown out the conversation at your table, the problem may not be the restaurant's acoustics.
- You feel tired after social situations. Keeping up with the conversations in any social situation can be tiresome. If you feel fatigued trying to keep up with many people speaking at once, it might be time for a hearing test.
- You have a difficult time with high frequencies. If you start to notice difficulties in hearing sounds you once heard, this is a good sign of hearing loss. Pay attention to music and voices. If the high soprano of your favorite song sounds different than before, or if a child’s voice is hard to hear, you may have hearing loss.
Part of understanding when it is time to schedule a hearing test is knowing what signs to look for. By looking out for these five situations in your daily life, you can determine if and when you require a hearing evaluation. Medical professionals recommend getting your hearing tested annually, just like you do your vision. To schedule your free hearing test, contact Orland Hearing Aid Center.