Hearing loss is one of those things that can really sneak up on you.
Before you know it, your loved ones are telling you that you need to have your hearing checked, but you may not think there’s anything wrong at all.
That can be a problem because, the sooner you are treated with a hearing aid, the better your brain is able to adjust and adapt. And while there are several different types of hearing loss, here are seven signs you shouldn’t ignore.
1. When your kids come to visit, the first thing they do is turn the T.V. down. The decibel level might have seemed just right to you, but others notice immediately that it’s simply too loud.
2. You avoid bustling restaurants. It’s one thing to steer clear of loud restaurants because you don’t like the scene, but if you find that you can’t hear conversations that others can, it’s a clear sign to get your hearing checked.
3. You think other people are mumbling. If you notice that—more often than not—you have to ask other people to “speak up,” the problem may actually be with you.
4. You miss parts of conversations. Let’s face facts, nobody loves the thought of getting a hearing aid but isn’t it better to enjoy life—and lively discussions—than to sit on the sidelines and miss out? It’s also important to realize that some types of hearing loss, such as those caused by infections or Meniere’s Disease, are treatable.
5. Your ears are ringing—all the time. Occasional tinnitus is normal. But if it’s constant, then it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor.
6. You need to see someone to hear them well. If that sounds familiar, you may be reading lips to assist your hearing, without even realizing what you’re doing.
7. People tell you you’re talking too loud. When your own hearing is compromised, it can be harder to gauge exactly how loudly you’re speaking. If people repeatedly tell you to tone it down, that could be a sign to get your hearing checked.
There’s one more thing to keep in mind. The science and technology behind today’s hearing aids is vastly improved over even a decade ago. We’ve all heard stories from people who were so annoyed by hearing aids that they ditched them.
Those stories are likely as outdated as an 8-track tape player.
The bottom line? Give technology a chance before you decide hearing aids aren’t for you.
The American Association of Retired Persons recommend taking the following steps to get adjusted to new hearing aids.
• Start out slowly, using your hearing aids for only a few hours a day.
• Adjust to the sound of your own voice (which may sound different) by spending some time reading out loud to yourself.
• Don’t put up with that “whistling” sound. It’s feedback and should not be happening. Return to your audiologist for an adjustment.
• Realize that you will learn to ignore background noise; give your brain time to adjust.
With all that said, you can’t know what’s causing your hearing loss—or how to treat it—until you see a doctor. It’s also important to realize that, the sooner you’re treated, the better chance you have of a positive outcome. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing specialists if you think you are showing any of these signs of hearing loss. You might just find that you’ve been missing out on more of life than you realize.