Many people feel that there is a stigma attached to hearing loss and find it difficult to admit that they are struggling to hear. However, now that it's easy to buy hearing aids online, admitting to hearing loss need not involve making a public service announcement. Here are five useful tips that will help you recognize the signs of hearing loss.
You may stop yourself from admitting that you are suffering from hearing loss if you feel that it is a sign of old age. It's important to know that anyone of any age can struggle with hearing problems, and they can result from a wide range of hereditary or acquired problems.
Often people in their 50's, 60's and even 70's don't blame their communication problems on hearing loss because they fear the next step will be wearing hearing aids; and they perceive hearing aids as a flashing light attached to their ear that tells everyone that they're getting old. This is really an out-dated view of hearing aids as advancements in hearing aid technology has allowed many hearing aid designs to be nearly invisible when worn, especially with the increasing popularity of Micro-BTE designs.
2) Check whether you need to see someone's lips in order to understand their words
Sometimes, hearing loss only becomes obvious when you realize that you're struggling to understand other people when you cannot see their mouth moving. Without knowing it, you can come to rely on the combined use of your eyes and ears to comprehend speakers, and it is only when you are prevented from relying on the former that you realize that your ears aren't quite doing their job anymore.
When you have your hearing tested by a professional you'll be asked to repeat a series of one syllable words, known as an Nu-6 word list. During this test you won't be able to look at the person calling the words out.
3) Think about whether you feel like people are mumbling
While some people do mumble or speak in an unclear way, you may be suffering from a degree of hearing loss if you start to think that most people are mumbling. In addition, consider whether you start to find it difficult to keep track of everyone's voices when you're having a group conversation.
4) Find out whether you are a poor judge of appropriate volume
If your friends and family complain that your TV shows are deafeningly loud or think that your music is going to be heard several blocks away, this indicates that you cannot hear quite as well as the average person.
5) Assess your ability to cope with noisy situations
Finally, one of the most common signs of hearing loss is increasing difficulty hearing the voices of your companions when there is lots of background noise. Compare the way you hear to other people while communicating in noisy places. If all you seem to hear is a mumble, where other people around you are obviously hearing the conversation clearly, the problem is likely a difference in your hearing and shouldn't just be blamed on a challenging hearing environment.