Most hearing loss occurs gradually, so the symptoms are often difficult to recognise. People might begin turning up the volume on the TV or asking people to repeat themselves. When our hearing starts to fade we tend to forget how things sound. We start to live in a quieter world, unaware that we are missing the sounds of everyday life, like the patter of rain or birdsong.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing one or more of the following, it may be the time to consider having a hearing assessment.
- Conversations become harder as you have to second guess the questions.
- Family and friends notice that they are having to repeat themselves more frequently.
- You feel like everyone is mumbling and you strain to hear when they talk or whisper.
- You start missing the beginning or endings of words, the intonation in the voice which can lead to an increase in misunderstandings.
- You notice that you are watching the speaker’s lips more closely to follow the conversation.
- You have difficulty hearing in social environments such as family gatherings, at the theatre or cinema, in a noisy restaurant or car and as a result you start to limit your social activities.
- Using everyday equipment proves more difficult. You have problems hearing clearly on the telephone or you have to turn up the volume of the TV or radio.
- You stop hearing certain environmental noises, such as the fan noise on the computer or the beep on the microwave.
- Your personal relationships become strained, through irriation of having to repeat frequently or getting no response and communication between you stops.
- Many first-time visitors tell us that they can hear but not understand. We relate this to a radio not fully tuned into the station or someone speaking in a foreign language to your mother tongue.
- You have difficulty hearing someone call from behind you or in another room
- You are experiencing increased levels of fatigue and stress