One in six people in the UK have some form of hearing loss. Hearing loss can affect one or both ears and is classified in different degrees: mild, moderate, severe or profound. It can happen at any age and for many different reasons, though age-related hearing loss - also known as presbycusis - is the most common. In some situations, a person will lose their hearing suddenly. More often than not, the process is so gradual that a person may not even notice it is happening.
It’s important to identify signs of hearing loss as early as possible. Treatment is more beneficial if started early and it can greatly improve a person’s quality of life. Ignoring the signs or delaying having a hearing test can mean your personal, social and business life suffers as a result. Many people with untreated hearing loss can end up feeling isolated and unsocial.
Let’s take a look at some of the common signs of early hearing loss. If any of these situations are familiar to you, it may be worth getting a hearing test done.
Do you often ask people to repeat what they say?
People with early hearing loss often think that others are mumbling or not speaking clearly enough.
Do you have trouble understanding people on the telephone?
Speech on the telephone may sound muffled or distant and leave you feeling frustrated during a conversation.
Do you have difficulty hearing women and children?
High-pitched sounds are often the first affected in hearing loss. This may mean a person cannot hear their own partners or children and leave them feeling isolated at home.
Do you have trouble following hearing in noisy environments such as restaurants and bars?
Loud social environments can be exhausting for people with hearing loss. This is especially true in group conversations, when you have to focus on more than one person talking at a time. As a result you may find yourself preferring to avoid noisy situations.
Do you have trouble hearing someone talking behind you?
People with hearing loss can find it easier to hear someone if they are looking directly at them. Watching lip movements and facial expressions help to convey meaning and help you understand what you can’t hear.
Does your family complain that the TV or radio is too loud?
You may find yourself turning up the volume when watching TV or listening to the radio. The people you live with usually notice this before you do.
Do you have difficulty catching announcements at airports or train stations?
In noisy environments, these sounds can be hard to hear. You may also notice that you can’t hear your alarm clock or doorbell anymore.
Are you tired by the end of day from straining to hear?
When your hearing has changed, following conversations and getting through the day can be exhausting. You may find yourself preferring to avoid some situations altogether.
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing hearing loss. The next step is to get a hearing test and treatment as soon as you can. If you suddenly lose hearing in one ear in the space of a couple of days, you should see your GP immediately. For more information about hearing loss and the treatments available, visit one of our centres or give us a call on 0131 220 1220.
House of Hearing offers hearing care at four centres in Edinburgh, Galashiels, Perth, and St Andrews. Call us on 0131 220 1220 for more information.