We often have a family member that sit in a conversation and does not participate. People living with a hearing loss isolate themselves, often without realizing it. And its not only adults, but children too. As adults we would rather not participate when we are struggling to follow a conversation or rather read the meeting notes to fill the gaps that we missed. Children will also isolate themselves – they will rather play alone and not have a conversation.
It is important to know what to look out for in yourself or family members to identify hearing loss as early as possible. We think that it would be easy to notice if someone has a hearing loss but hearing loss often develops slowly and worsen over time.
Here are some red flags to look out for:
When you are struggling to hear day to day sounds in your home
Our environmental sounds are very important. Although they are generally not noticed and occur in the background, they are also our warning sounds. For example, someone that cannot hear high pitched sounds will struggle to hear an alarm or siren. We need to hear these sounds in case of emergencies.
When you are constantly increasing the volume of your phone, television or radio
The sound from a sound source often distorts the speech which causes poor speech clarity. We turn the volume up to improve the clarity but that does not always solve our problems.
When you are struggling to follow a group conversation or a conversation in noise
Some letters are difficult to hear and our brain uses the sounds it did hear to fill the gaps with the words it knows. But if you are also missing out on those sounds that the brain needs to hear to fill the gaps – you will have a tough time in a conversation where the words get lost when people are speaking over each other and fast.
If you have a ringing in your ears
A ringing in the ears can be due to numerous causes but is most often an indicative of hearing damage.
Risk factors for hearing loss
There are a few things that can cause a hearing loss or worsen an existing hearing loss. Noise exposure (occupational or recreational) can have damaging effect on your ears. Certain medications can cause a hearing loss – if you are using medications for a prolonged period of time ensure that is not ototoxic. Diabetes, high blood pressure, meningitis and more illness can have an effect on your hearing. Monitor your hearing when you can mark an ‘X’ next to any of these risk factors.
Want to do an online hearing screening? Click right HERE!