Everyday sounds are part of life’s most meaningful experiences. Are you having difficulty hearing the crisp crunch of snow underfoot on a cold winter morning? Or the sound of your cat purring as it lays beside you on the couch? Did you miss that important phone call from a friend because you didn’t hear the ring? If so, there’s a chance you may have a hearing loss.
In most cases hearing loss develops gradually — so gradually that you often don’t notice the loss of certain sounds. Before you know it, you could start missing the important sounds of your everyday life.
The following questions will help you determine if you need to have your hearing evaluated:
- Do people complain that you turn the TV volume up too loud?
- Do you have trouble following the conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time?
- Do you have trouble hearing over the telephone or do you have to turn up the volume on the telephone to hear properly?
- Do you often miss parts of conversations and continually ask people to repeat themselves?
- Do many people you talk to seem to mumble or not speak clearly?
- Do you find that the high and low tones of many sounds have disappeared? For example, do you find it difficult to hear birds singing?
- Do you have trouble hearing in noisy environments? For example, do you have difficulty following dinnertime conversation, when others are talking and music is playing?
- Do you ever misunderstand what others are saying and respond inappropriately?
- Do you have trouble understanding the speech of women and children?
- Do you find yourself withdrawing from conversations or avoiding certain social situations because you worry about your hearing?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be experiencing hearing loss. The best place to start if you have concerns about your hearing is to make an appointment with your family doctor. Your family doctor may ask you to meet with an audiologist or hearing aid practitioner for hearing tests and a hearing aid evaluation.