Hearing loss is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. However, the rate of development can be so gradual that some of those suffering may not even be aware of it.
Aside from those who have developed hearing loss due to illness or injury, for many people, their ability to hear can decline gradually over time meaning that they don’t necessarily notice that they can’t hear as well as they used to.
Certain aspects of day to day life may become increasingly more challenging, but these are often disregarded as non-issues. The problem with this is that when left untreated, hearing loss can worsen over time.
Without visiting an audiologist, hearing loss can’t be diagnosed or therefore treated. But, how do you know if you need a hearing test? Fortunately, there are a few telltale signs that indicate you should make an appointment.
Signs you need a hearing test
If you’re reading this blog, then it’s likely that you feel you may be suffering from some form of hearing impairment.
In this case, hearing tests would always be advisable. However, if you’re in need of some confirmation that this is definitely the step you need to take, then see if any of the below scenarios sound familiar to you:
1. You struggle to hear the TV
Do you often find yourself turning up the volume on the TV or radio? Are you left wondering why the volume appears to be lower than the last time you tuned in? Have those around you commented on the volume you’re setting it on?
If any of this sounds familiar, then it’s unlikely that your TV has suddenly got quieter and rather more likely that you’re experiencing early signs of hearing impairment.
2. You need to ask people to repeat themselves
Asking people to repeat themselves in conversations is something that we all do from time to time. Whilst this isn’t anything out of the ordinary, having to do it on a regular basis is one of the most common signs that you’re experiencing hearing loss.
This is particularly important if it’s the same when talking to different people, and in environments where background noise level varies. Struggling to understand speech from the same person may simply indicate that they’re speaking too quietly, and similarly, noisy environments can be challenging for everyone.
If this sounds like something that you may have been passing off as a slight inconvenience but has started to raise concerns from those conversing with you, then it’s likely time to get your hearing tested.
3. You have trouble differentiating noises
Generally speaking, those with good quality hearing can usually bypass background noise and zone in on the sounds that they want to hear. For those with hearing loss, this can be particularly challenging.
This can be apparent in environments such as busy restaurants, where you’re struggling to decipher between the conversation being made towards you and all of the noise in the background.
4. You have to reposition yourself to hear
Do you often find yourself having to twist your head or neck, or move closer to the person speaking in order to hear what they’re saying?
If so, this may indicate that you’re suffering from hearing loss in one or both ears. Moving yourself to accommodate your hearing inability may seem like a useful tool in the early days, but as hearing loss progresses this method won’t be as effective.
5. You’ve missed calls or alarms
There are many different grades of hearing loss, and sometimes it can manifest itself in the form of being unable to hear certain tones or pitches.
For some people, this means that they start to miss sounds such as the phone ringing, doorbell chiming or alarm sounding. If missing out on important calls or anything similar has become a common issue for you, hearing loss may be at the root cause of it.
6. Conversations are draining your energy
Are you often leaving conversations feeling completely fatigued and zapped of energy?
When experiencing hearing loss, conversations become much more challenging and place a great deal of stress on the brain and body. As you strain yourself to keep up with the conversation and try to make out the words being said, this can leave you feeling drained.
Fatigue and related low-energy problems can be down to a number of different things, but if this sounds familiar to you then it’s worth getting your hearing checked.
If any of these signs resonate with you, then booking a hearing test is the first step toward improving your ability to hear. The best way to identify a hearing problem and devise a suitable treatment plan is to visit a professional audiologist.
How often should you get your hearing tested?
It’s generally recommended that adults get their hearing tested at least every 10 years. This applies even to those who are fit and healthy and don’t feel that they have any problems with their ability to hear.
Adults over the age of 60 and those who work in particularly noisy environments should get their hearing tested more often – every few years is advisable.
Monitoring your hearing and getting regular check-ups is vital to our health. Our hearing can decline as we get older, and this can have a huge impact on both our physical and mental wellbeing, alongside potentially leading to further medical conditions.
Diagnosing hearing loss at the earliest stages is crucial, and this can only be done through a hearing test.
How to book a hearing test
If you’re ready to get help with your hearing, seeking out a reputable and professional qualified audiologist is the first step you should take.
Reach out to friends and family to get recommendations, search online and read reviews. Take the time to do your research and find someone that you can trust with your hearing.
Not sure what to expect? Read our top tips on preparing for a hearing test.
If you’re local to South London or Middlesex, The Hearing Specialist has three locations across these areas. We are a team of professional independent audiologists with clinics in Wimbledon, Teddington and Wallington.
Making an appointment couldn’t be easier with our online booking system – simply choose your nearest clinic and select a time and date that’s convenient for you. Click here to get started.