It can be hard to be fully aware of your hearing loss. In most cases, hearing loss progresses at a gradual rate which is not noticeable. Also, it can be hard to be aware of what you can’t hear, if you can’t hear it!
Even when hearing loss becomes noticeable, many people choose to ‘get by’ with reduced hearing at least for a while. Studies show that on average it takes us over 7 years to take action on hearing loss.
Hearing loss erodes health and quality of life slowly, and the lack immediacy is another reason hearing loss is not addressed early.
Hearing loss symptoms
Recognising hearing loss symptoms in yourself or someone you know is the first step to improving your hearing and general wellbeing and quality of life. Hearing loss symptoms can include:
- you think people mumble, even though others seem to hear them fine
- others’ speech lacks clarity and you have to concentrate hard to understand what people are saying
- you ask others to repeat themselves often; or family, friends or colleagues comment that they are always having to repeat themselves
- you have difficulty following group conversation
- you have difficulty hearing people call you from behind or from another room
- you find yourself relying on watching people’s lips, facial expressions, hand gestures or body language to understand what they say
- you find it hard to follow speech in meetings, in noisy environments or over a sound system in a large venue
- you tend to avoid or limit social activities because it’s too difficult to hear and communicate
- the TV or radio volume that you find comfortable is loud for others
- you find it hard to hear on the phone or use a particular ear for the phone because it’s easier to hear
- you miss sound cues such as the car indicator, doorbells, the fridge or washing machine beeps, alarms
- you have difficulty figuring out where sound is coming from
- you have difficulty making sense of sound in noisy environments – such as in the street or in a crowd
- you feel stressed or anxious about trying to hear what others are saying
- you are frustrated at yourself or other people because you can’t hear or understand them
- you feel embarrassed or nervous about mishearing and giving an incorrect response
- you feel left-out or isolated because of difficulties following group conversation
- you are worried that your hearing difficulties are creating safety issues for yourself or others
Impacts of hearing loss
Untreated hearing loss can result in many negative physical and mental health and quality of life impacts. Hearing loss impacts can be significant, far-reaching and result in or exacerbate other health conditions. Impacts of hearing loss can include:
- reduced ability to communicate with family and friends, at work, at the shops, in appointments
- tension / disconnection in relationships
- frustration, stress, anxiety
- loss of confidence, withdrawal, isolation, depression
- reduced productivity, reduced involvement in social / exercise / volunteering groups
- fatigue, headaches, reduced memory
- higher risk of cognitive deterioration
If you notice symptoms or impacts of hearing loss
If you or a loved one notice symptoms and impacts of hearing loss in yourself, or if you notice them in a loved one, please consider contacting Mackay Hearing to arrange a comprehensive diagnostic hearing assessment.
Hearing assessments are also recommended for people with no hearing loss symptoms – it’s an excellent idea to get some baseline results on file for future monitoring, and you might have hearing loss and not know it. The sooner you address hearing loss, the better the outcome you are likely to have and the less impacts you are likely to experience.
We are good at regularly checking our teeth at the dentist, our vision with optometrists and our general health with GPs.
Why not add regular hearing assessments with your Audiologist at Mackay Hearing to your list of health checks?