Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
How do I know if I have a hearing loss?
Hearing loss often occurs as a gradual decline, and may go unnoticed for years. For many people, the first signs of a hearing problem may be increased stress and strain when listening and asking people to repeat things. Individuals with hearing issues may also experience difficulty picking up background noise or may have trouble understanding women and children (softly spoken speech), or feeling like others seem to be mumbling. A common complaint is, “I can hear, but I can’t understand the words.”
Other signs of hearing loss can include:
- Needing to ask others about the details of a meeting you just attended.
- Not laughing at jokes because you missed too much of the story.
- Others say that you play the TV or radio too loudly.
- Your friends, family or colleagues indicate you don’t seem to hear as well as you once did.
- Having difficulty hearing speech from a distance, in group settings or on the telephone.
- Speaking louder than necessary or experiencing a change in your own speech.
- Cupping your ear for improved hearing or needing to turn your “good ear” toward the person speaking.
- Finding it easier when the speaker’s face is visible to you or reading their lips for assistance.
- Having difficulty finding the source of where a sound is coming from.
- Tiring easily after attending a lecture, movie or meeting. Also may be experiencing more eye strain.
- Using “what” or “huh” more often.
- Finding that loud sounds are more annoying (hyperacusis).
Adapted from Matonak in Counseling for Hearing Aid Fittings (edited by Sweetow, Singular Press, 1999)