Most cases of hearing loss develop gradually so the symptoms are often difficult to recognise. The first step in the treatment of hearing impairment is to realise that there is a problem. And it often takes time to accept that you suffer from hearing loss.
If you experience some of the following signs of hearing loss, you should contact your family doctor or hearing care professional and have your hearing tested:
- It sounds as if people are mumbling to you
- Difficulties in hearing television - or people say that your television is turned up too loud
- Difficulties in hearing someone calling to you from behind or from another room
- Difficulties in communicating in a small group of people, for example at meetings
- Communication difficulties in noisy environments, for example in a car, bus or at a party
- A frequent need to ask people to repeat themselves
- You no longer hear your watch ticking, water running or birds singing
- Difficulties in hearing the doorbell or the telephone ringing
- Family, colleagues and friends say that you might be suffering from hearing loss
- You have to lip read the people who talk to you
- You feel that you must really concentrate to hear someone talk or whisper
If you experience these signs of hearing loss, you may feel that your social life is suffering too because of hearing and communication difficulties. You may even be tempted to avoid social gatherings and other social situations where you run the risk of misunderstanding or not hearing what other people say.