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You normally would think hearing loss would be obvious to spot, but it’s not as straightforward to recognize as you might believe.

To begin with, many people with hearing loss have difficulties only with specific sounds and in distinct situations. And so, if you can hear normally on some occasions, you’ll have the tendency to pin the blame on other factors or other people for the times you do have a hard time hearing.

Second, hearing loss arises slowly over time, so it’s challenging to notice the slow progression. It’s more convenient to blame others for mumbling, or to turn up the TV volume a little higher, than to acknowledge that you might have hearing loss.

So, the signs can be elusive. You have to understand what to watch for, and although it’s easy to disavow that you have hearing loss, you should be truthful with yourself about the warning signs.

Here are the top 10 to watch out for. If you detect the presence of any, it may be time to organize a hearing exam.

  1. You experience ringing in the ears – this may be indicative of permanent hearing damage. Hearing aids can not only assist you to hear better, but they may also be able to relieve the ringing in your ears.
  2. You can’t hear normal household sounds – hearing loss can make it difficult to hear the doorbell, the phone ringing, or somebody calling your name from another room.
  3. You have difficulty understanding TV dialogue – speech is ordinarily more difficult to hear than other sorts of sound. This frequently shows itself as difficulty following movie or TV show plots.
  4. You have your cellphone, TV, or radio at max volume – if you can hear the TV, phone, or radio much better than you can hear personal conversations, check the volume settings on your devices. You may have these gadgets set at elevated volumes while concurrently thinking that everyone else speaks too quietly.
  5. You ask people to repeat themselves regularly – you detect that you say “what?” a lot, or that you need to ask people to repeat themselves when you’re not facing them.
  6. You commonly misinterpret what people are saying – consonants are higher-pitched, and thus more difficult to hear, than vowels. Considering that consonants transmit the majority of the meaning in a sentence, speech comprehension suffers.
  7. You have trouble hearing all the words in a discussion – certain sounds and letters are more difficult to hear than others. Consequently, you can hear the majority of the words in a sentence, but that you have to often times try to fill in the blanks.
  8. You have trouble hearing when your back is to the speaker – you may be dependent on lip reading, body language, and other cues to meaning much more than you realize. When you’re not facing the speaker, and can’t use these hints, you may have difficulty comprehending speech.
  9. You have a hard time hearing with a great deal of background noise – as hearing loss becomes worse, contending noise becomes more of a challenge. You might have the ability to hear speech in tranquil surroundings, but it becomes more and more difficult to follow discussions in a boisterous environment like a restaurant.
  10. People complain that you shout or have the TV volume too loud – people may comment that you have the TV volume too loud or that you have the predisposition to yell. It doesn’t feel this way to you because you’re compensating for your hearing loss.

Do you have one or more of the top 10 warning signs of hearing loss? If so, schedule your hearing test today, and take the steps to start living a better, more productive, and healthier life.

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