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You might think that hearing loss should be obvious to identify, but it’s not as easy to notice as you may think.

To begin with, most people with hearing loss have problems only with specific sounds and in specified scenarios. Consequently, 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 occasions you do have trouble hearing.

Second, hearing loss occurs slowly over the years, so it’s difficult to detect the slow progression. It’s more convenient to blame it on other people for mumbling, or to turn up the TV volume a little higher, than to admit that you may have hearing loss.

As a result, the signs and symptoms can be subtle. You have to understand what to watch for, and while it’s convenient to reject that you have hearing loss, you should be honest 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 book a hearing test.

  1. You experience ringing in the ears – this might be an indication of permanent hearing damage. Hearing aids can not only make it easier to hear better, but they may also be able to alleviate the ringing in your ears.
  2. You are not able to hear normal household sounds – hearing loss can make it hard to hear the doorbell, the phone ringing, or another person shouting your name from another room.
  3. You have trouble comprehending TV dialogue – speech is generally much more difficult to hear than other kinds 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 better than you can hear personal conversations, check out the volume settings on your technology. You may have these gadgets set at elevated volumes while concurrently thinking that everyone else talks too softly.
  5. You request that people repeat themselves often – you notice 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. Seeing that consonants communicate the majority of the meaning in a sentence, speech comprehension suffers.
  7. You have trouble hearing all the words in a conversation – particular sounds and letters are more challenging to hear than others. What this means is 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 be dependent on lip reading, nonverbal communication, and other tips to meaning significantly more than you realize. When you’re not facing the speaker, and can’t use these hints, you may have trouble understanding speech.
  9. You have difficulty hearing with lots of background noise – as hearing loss gets to be worse, competing noise becomes more of a challenge. You might manage to hear speech in quiet environments, but it becomes increasingly difficult to follow conversations in a noisy setting like a restaurant.
  10. People say that you shout or have the TV volume too loud – people may remark that you have the television volume too loud or that you have the tendency to shout. 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 yes, arrange your hearing test today, and take the steps to begin living a better, more productive, and healthier life.

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