Hearing loss affects more people than most people realize. It ranks right after arthritis and heart disease in physical conditions that affect Americans. One out of every five Americans has hearing loss. This includes people of every age. The good news is that hearing loss is very treatable. Most hearing impaired people–95 percent of them–would experience improved hearing with a hearing aid, but only 23 percent of them actually wear them. Here are some signs that you may want to schedule a hearing test.
You Keep Asking People to Repeat Themselves
If you find yourself frequently needing to ask people to repeat themselves, you may have hearing loss. Conversations may sound muffled. Certain voices may be hard to decipher. If you’re missing half the conversation, you’re missing out on quality interaction with your family and friends. But you’re not the only one missing out–they are too. It could also be affecting your job. If you’re missing a chunk of the boss’s instructions at a staff meeting or needing to ask a coworker to recap the meeting or having trouble hearing certain customers on the phone, it could impact your job performance.
The Volume on All Your Devices Is Turned Up High
If you’re blasting everyone else’s eardrums when you turn the TV volume to a level you can hear, this might be a sure sign that you’ve experienced hearing loss. This can be both a cause and an effect of hearing loss. Teens and others who like loud music should be encouraged to keep it to normal levels, especially if they want to keep their ability to hear. Even some smartphones have gotten really smart and let the user know if the volume on their headset is too high.
Your Ears Are Ringing
If you’re experiencing ringing or buzzing in your ears, also known as tinnitus, you should schedule a hearing test right away. Up to 90 percent of people who have ongoing tinnitus have hearing loss. Not only is this a drain on your psyche, but it can lead to difficulties at work or in your relationships.
You Can’t Hear Normal Sounds
Perhaps you’ve found yourself sleeping through your alarm repeatedly or missing the sound of birds tweeting–only to realize that the birds have been outside your window all along. Little things can alert you to the signs of hearing loss.
Noisy Environments Are Blurs of Sounds
When you have hearing loss, it’s very difficult to hear what’s going on when you’re in a noisy environment. Whether it’s in a plane or a restaurant or a game stadium, it’s frustrating for you and those with you when you’re unable to engage or interact. And when you’re missing instructions spoken over an intercom or you’re oblivious to an emergency situation, such as an ambulance siren while you’re driving, it becomes more and more imperative to find out what’s wrong.
Hearing loss is not just a sign of old age–it can happen to anyone of any age. Don’t let hearing loss negatively affect your quality of life. If you’re experiencing one or more of the symptoms mentioned here, a hearing test by a health professional will help you know what you need to do to improve your hearing.