Triangular red sign with exclamation point

You might think hearing loss should be simple to spot, but it’s not as straightforward to notice as you may think.

To start, many individuals with hearing loss have challenges only with select sounds and in specified situations. So, if you can hear normally on some occasions, you’ll tend to pin the blame on other factors or other people for the occasions you do have difficulty hearing.

Second, hearing loss takes place slowly and gradually as time passes, so it’s challenging to recognize the slow development. It’s more convenient to pin the blame on others for mumbling, or to turn up the TV volume a bit higher, than to acknowledge that you might have hearing loss.

So, the signs can be elusive. You need to know what to watch for, and while it’s easy to deny that you have hearing loss, you should be honest with yourself about the warning signs.

Here are the top 10 to look out for. If you recognize any, it may be time to set up a hearing test.

  1. You experience ringing in the ears – this might be an indication of permanent hearing injury. Hearing aids can not only cause you to hear better, but they may also have the ability to eliminate the ringing in your ears.
  2. You are not able to hear normal household sounds – hearing loss can make it tough to hear the doorbell, the telephone ringing, or another person shouting your name from another room.
  3. You have difficulty comprehending TV dialogue – speech is ordinarily more challenging to hear than other types of sound. This often manifests itself as difficulty following movie or television show plots.
  4. You have your phone, television, or radio at maximum volume – if you can hear the TV, phone, or radio better than you can hear face-to-face discussions, check out the volume settings on your devices. You may have these gadgets set at elevated volumes while at the same time thinking that everyone else talks too quietly.
  5. You request that people repeat themselves frequently – you recognize that you say “what?” a lot, or that you have to ask people to repeat themselves when you’re not facing them.
  6. You often misconstrue what people are saying – consonants are higher-pitched, and therefore more difficult to hear, than vowels. Considering that consonants communicate the majority of the meaning in a sentence, speech comprehension suffers.
  7. You have difficulty hearing all the words in a conversation – specific sounds and letters are more challenging to hear than others. This means you can hear the majority of the words in a sentence, but that you have to frequently try to fill in the blanks.
  8. You have trouble hearing when your back is to the speaker – you may depend on lip reading, body gestures, and other hints to meaning more than you think. When you’re not looking at the speaker, and can’t use these cues, you may have trouble comprehending speech.
  9. You have trouble hearing with a great deal of background noise – as hearing loss gets to be more serious, competing noise becomes more of a challenge. You might have the capacity to hear speech in quiet settings, but it becomes progressively difficult to follow discussions in a noisy setting like a restaurant.
  10. People say that you shout or have the TV volume too loud – people may notice that you have the television volume too loud or that you have the proclivity to shout. It doesn’t seem 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 begin living a better, more productive, and healthier life.