Hearing loss often sneaks up on you gradually so the signs are easy to miss. It may seem that everyone has simultaneously decided to start mumbling. Or you no longer hear the punch line of jokes. Or you miss important details in meetings. Or you start to avoid socializing or other activities that you like for fear of not being able to participate fully.
Ask yourself these questions. If several of them are true, you should probably get your hearing tested.
1. Do you hear people talking, but can’t understand what they are saying? To me this is the biggest giveaway. You hear the sounds, but can’t make out the meaning. You often need to ask people to repeat themselves. It is frustrating and can cause you to think people are mumbling. This may be most difficult in noisy environments or if multiple people are involved in the conversation.
2. Does your family complain the TV is too loud? This is often one of the biggest complaints by families of people with hearing loss. In my home, we always watch with the captions on, so we can have the volume at a comfortable level for all.
3. Do you avoid talking on the phone or socializing with others? This is the greatest risk of untreated hearing loss — social withdrawal and isolation. It can not only lead to depression, but cognitive problems like a higher risk of dementia.
4. Does it bother you when people cover their mouths when they speak? You might be lip-reading and not even know it. I always ask people to keep their mouths clear when speaking with me.
5. Does communication exhaust you? Listening tasks require far more effort for people with hearing loss. This extra concentration can leave you exhausted at the end of the day, particularly if it was a day filled with socializing or group meetings.
If you or someone you love has hearing loss, encourage them to get tested and seek out the help they need. The faster they accept and treat their hearing loss, the sooner they will be back in business, enjoying and thriving at life.
Book your hearing test online here or phone 045 865 732.