Ten Signs of Hearing Loss
As people get older, the cumulative effect of subjecting their ears to prolonged loud noises and not wearing protection to protect their hearing become apparent. Noise levels above 80 decibels are considered hazardous. What does 80 decibels of noise sound like? An alarm clock going off is approximtely 80 decibels. Whether it's because you commute using a noisy subway system or navigate through noisy traffic, work at an occupation where there is constant loud noise, or like to listen to loud music on your mp3 player often, failure to protect your hearing or give your ears the rest they need from the constant noise, will eventually result in hearing loss. Unfortunately, people are slow to realize the gradual loss of their hearing.
Audiologists work with people who have hearing, balance and related ear problems. If you think that you are experiencing loss of your hearing, it's a good idea to make an appointment with a licensed audiologist (certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) to test your hearing. Below are some symptoms which should alert you to possible hearing loss and the need to have your ears tested by a hearing professional.
Recognize the Symptoms of Gradual Hearing Loss
These symptoms don't all have to be present before you consult with an audiologist, just a combination of these symptoms should suffice in your awareness of gradual hearing loss. If you have even one and you experience it constantly it's a warning that you need to see a doctor.
- You have trouble hearing the other person on your cell phone or land-line. Your cell phone or landline is set at the highest volume and you still have trouble hearing the person at the end of the line. Now it may mean that your cell phone is broken but if your new cell phone also gives you problems regarding volume, I would say it's not the phone but your own ears.
- Conducting a conversation in normal tones is hard because you can't hear the other person.If the other person has to shout so that you can hear them, especially during a business meeting, it's embarrassing but a clear sign that you need to get your hearing checked. In addition, if you're at an event and can't hear the speaker talking with a microphone, it's another tip-off.
- Everyone seems to mumble or don't speak clearly. If you are unable to hear the full range of sound from low to high notes during a conversation, it sounds as if the speaker is mumbling. If every person you talk to seems to mumble, it's a sign of a hearing problem.
- The volume on the television is too loud for people but not for you. This is self-explanatory.
- When more than one person talks during a conversation, you can't follow it and get confused. It's normal during a party when a lot of people talk fast and simultaneously to be confused. However, in a quieter setting, you should still be able to follow a conversation when two people talk at the same time.
- You can't hear what other people are saying in a noisy environment. If you're unable to filter out the background noise and hear the conversation in front of you, it's a sign of hearing loss.
- You strain to hear what women and children are saying. The voices of women and children are at a higher pitch which means the sounds are in the higher frequencies. If you are losing your hearing, it's not uncommon to miss sounds in the higher frequencies. The higher-pitched sounds are heard as pops and clicks.
- You often misunderstand what people are saying. In this situation it's not that the other person has to shout to be hear, it's that you mishear what they are saying. For example, they are telling you to "Pass the salt." but you thought you heard "Pat the sock."
- You often say "What?". If you are asking that question more often than usual, get your ears tested.
- You get annoyed because you can't understand what the other person is saying. This is a kind of a catchall situation where it's a mix of missing certain frequencies or mishearing or are straining to hear what is being said and it happens so often that you get annoyed, then you need to go to a hearing professional.
If you are experiencing gradual hearing loss, the last thing you want to do is isolate yourself. Now there are many causes of hearing loss and many types of hearing loss, work with an audiologist to
Phones and accessories that are great for the Hard of Hearing
determine the best way to alleviate your gradual hearing loss and whether a hearing aid is appropriate for you. There are many hearing aids available on the market and they now come in such compact sizes that it is not obvious that you are wearing one. Address any problems regarding your hearing promptly and continue to live your life and engage in social events. There is no reason to be embarassed and no reason for shame because of loss of hearing.
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