How Do You Know if You Have Hearing Loss?
There are many tell-tale signs of hearing loss: a loud television set, constantly saying “what?” during conversations, an inability to distinguish individual sounds in noisy settings like restaurants and coffee shops. Untreated hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline, isolation and depression, not to mention frustration in personal relationships when communication falters.
With more than 48 million Americans suffering from some form of hearing loss, the malady is more common than many individuals think. If you’re struggling with hearing your grandkids’ voices or the birdsongs of summer, it might be time to visit a hearing healthcare professional for a hearing evaluation.
Questions to ask yourself
If you aren’t convinced you need to schedule an appointment, despite the urging of loved ones or coworkers, consider a self-diagnosis. Answering the following questions, provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) can help determine whether or not you are suffering from hearing loss:
- Do you have issues hearing sound over the telephone?
- Do you hear better with one ear over the other while on the telephone?
- Do you have trouble following conversation in groups, while individuals are conversing simultaneously?
- Do people complain the volume on the television is too high?
- Do you strain to understand conversation?
- Do you have trouble hearing is noisy backgrounds, like restaurants?
- Do you experience dizziness, pain or ringing in your ears?
- Do you find yourself asking people to repeat what they said?
- Do family members or coworkers remark about you missing pieces of conversations?
- Do many people you talk with seem to mumble or not speak clearly?
- Do you misunderstand what others say and, as a result, respond inappropriately?
- Do you have difficulty understanding the speech of children and women?
- Do you get annoyed as a result of misunderstanding what people say?
According to ASHA, if you answer yes to two or more of the above questions, you should make an appointment with a hearing healthcare professional to have your hearing professionally evaluated. Hearing loss evaluations include a battery of harmless tests that will determine the degree and type of hearing loss you are suffering from. From the results of the test, called an audiogram, the ENT or audiologist will prescribe hearing aids that fit the type of hearing loss found.