Signs of Hearing Loss

As we grow older, many of us will begin to experience hearing loss. This is a natural part of the ageing process and usually develops gradually over time. Already at age 20, we've lost the ability to perceive some of the sounds infants can hear. By the time we reach 30 or 40, subtle—but significant—losses have begun to occur. With the added factor of prolonged exposure to high intensity noise at work and at home, hearing impairment is becoming increasingly common at an earlier age. Even a slight hearing loss can have a negative impact on your ability to work, socialise and enjoy life. Once we reach our 80s, more than half of us suffer from significant hearing loss.

Some of the common signs of hearing loss include:

  • Frequently having to ask people to repeat themselves
  • Having trouble hearing in noisy or busy places
  • Misunderstanding conversations
  • Finding that people are mumbling or speaking more softly than they used to
  • Increasing the volume on the television
  • Avoiding social situations
  • Being able to hear people talk, but having difficulty understanding the words
  • Family, colleagues and friends suggesting you might have a hearing problem
  • Difficulty understanding a speaker at a business meeting or service
  • Finding it especially difficult to hear women or children speak
  • Regularly hearing a ringing or buzzing in your ears
  • A slight muffling of sound after noise exposure

Many of us don't notice the early signs of hearing loss because we slowly adjust to the change. So, for example, by the time we realise what's happening, we may have already lost the full appreciation of sounds and music we once enjoyed.

Fact: On average, people wait seven years between first noticing their hearing loss and finally taking action.

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