Signs of hearing loss usually emerge slowly over time unless a trauma has occurred. But, if you’re the person experiencing them it can feel like they just showed up suddenly and without warning impairing your world. If you suspect hearing loss, there are signs to look out for:
- require frequent repetition.
- have difficulty following conversations involving more than 2 people.
- think that other people sound muffled or like they're mumbling.
- have difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms.
- have trouble hearing children and women.
- have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume.
- answer or respond inappropriately in conversations.
- have ringing in your ears.
- read lips or more intently watch people's faces when they speak with you.
- feel stressed out from straining to hear what others are saying.
- feel annoyed at other people because you can't hear or understand them.
- feel embarrassed to meet new people or from misunderstanding what others are saying.
- feel nervous about trying to hear and understand.
- withdraw from social situations that you once enjoyed because of difficulty hearing.
- have a family history of hearing loss.
- take medications that can harm the hearing system (ototoxic drugs).
- have diabetes, heart, circulation or thyroid problems.
- have been exposed to very loud sounds over a long period or single exposure to explosive noise.
If you have noticed yourself in these signs of hearing loss, it’s best to get your hearing checked by a licensed professional. They will be able to help you determine if you have hearing loss, the level of hearing loss, and some options, such as hearing aids, to help you counteract it.