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Hearing loss is a very common issue. Many people around the world have partial or full hearing loss and it can occur at any time during your lifespan. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to maintain your quality of life, from getting a specially fitted hearing aid to joining communities and learning to sign.
While hearing loss is generally thought of as part of the aging process – and elderly people are particularly prone to it – you shouldn’t struggle on believing that you are too young for your symptoms. Not every sign and symptom will mean permanent hearing loss and it could be that you have an infection that is best treated early.
Hearing aids have significantly improved in design and spec in the last few years. Though you might feel a bit embarrassed to start with, the hearing aid features will soon make you realize that hearing aids can make a real difference to your quality of life. Instead of avoiding the problem, look out for these signs that things may not be quite right and visit your audiologist as soon as possible.
Struggling to Keep Up
When people talk in large groups, we don’t have access to all the information we have during one to one conversations including body language and lip reading. If you are beginning to lose your hearing then this type of social situation might be the first sign that something is amiss.
Hearing loss is associated with a number of health issues but if you are dropping out of conversations and avoiding social situations because you can’t keep up, you must watch out for your mental health too. Loneliness and depression are common in people who struggle to communicate and a trip to the audiologist could make it a whole lot easier!
Mishearing or Not Hearing at All
Another common sign of hearing loss is frequently mishearing what someone is saying to you. When people with average hearing mishear, they can often work out what the word should have been by context. People who mishear more often have less context to go off and therefore either guess (leading to weird answers and exchanges) or have to ask for a repetition.
It seems odd that you might not notice not hearing something but when you think about it, it’s not that strange at all. Other people are likely to point out that you haven’t heard something so don’t brush off their concerns.
Turning the Volume Up
One certain way to tell whether you have hearing loss is the volume button. If you are sat happily watching TV while everyone else is covering their ears, there is clearly a problem! Again, people who live alone might not realize that there is an issue with volume themselves until someone else points out how loud something is.
The phone is another great example of this. Because you are forced to listen without any other linguistic cues, you are more likely to need to turn the volume up or even to speakerphone to hear: a sure sign it’s time to see an audiologist!
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