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How to Know if You're Hard of Hearing or Going Deaf?

an older patient cupping his hand to his ear to hear better

Do you find yourself asking people to repeat what they’ve just said to you? It might be a sign that you are experiencing hearing loss. There are some telltale signs if you are worried about your ear health.

Typically, finding yourself missing out on a conversation in a noisy room or missing your parcel delivery because you didn’t hear the knock at the door are strong indications that your hearing health might be degrading. However, there could be a variety of explanations for any of these situations that don’t relate to hearing loss. When you are lost in thoughts, it’s not uncommon to cut yourself off from any surrounding sounds. But it doesn’t mean you are going deaf! Similarly, if you are tired or you’ve got blocked sinuses, it can also affect your hearing without having lasting consequences. 

Nevertheless, you need to pay close attention to your behaviors in specific situations and to recurring issues to figure out whether you need hearing aids. 

You avoid loud environments

Not everyone enjoys loud concerts. But when you notice that you intentionally go out of your way to avoid social gatherings and venues, it could be a sign that you are uncomfortable in noisy backgrounds. Keeping track of a conversation in a restaurant isn’t easy. But if the sound of the waiters and other patrons makes it hard for you to maintain the discussion, you may want to get your hearing health checked. 

Background noise is one of the most common complaints when it comes to hearing loss. People who experience hearing loss can find the surrounding noise overwhelming, and it affects their communication skills

You turn up the volume on the TV

Turning up the volume from time to time is a normal phenomenon. The films and shows you watch on TV are all different. While one show might be quiet, the next one could focus on loud sounds such as explosions and music, for instance. As such, everyone needs to adjust the volume accordingly. But if you grab the remote to increase the volume constantly, it could be an indication that you have some degree of hearing loss. It’s not easy to spot when you live alone, but you can keep track of your preferred volume for long-term comparison. 

When you live with your family or friends, make sure to ask them if the volume is too loud. Alternatively, some people might complain about the sound which you need to take seriously. 

You hate phone calls

Not everyone loves making phone calls. Therefore, no audiologist would assume that you are experiencing hearing loss because you prefer not to use the phone. But you can pay attention to the details and your phone preferences. If you are reducing the number of calls you make because you find it hard to follow audio conversations, it could be a sign that you have been experiencing hearing loss for a long time.

The brain might have learned to fill up the gaps using visual cues in face-to-face interactions. However, when you eliminate the visuals, your brain can’t process the information. As a consequence, you can find phone calls confusing and hard work. An audiologist can help you measure your hearing loss more precisely. 

We all have moments when we are distracted, and we mishear a sentence. Asking someone to repeat something occasionally is not synonymous with hearing loss. If the person you’re talking to has an unfamiliar accent or way of speaking, you could find it hard to decipher their words, for instance. Or if you were already busy when something started to talk to you, you may not have listened to what they were saying.

Therefore, it’s best to consider how often you ask people to repeat things and whether there could be underlying causes for it. High stress levels can also affect your concentration. But in case of doubt, it’s a good idea to get in touch with an audiologist to take a hearing test. 

You’ve been recently exposed to a loud sound or head injury

If you’ve been involved in an accident and sustained a head injury, it’s a good idea to get your hearing checked, as it could have affected your inner ear. People who practiced combat sports can also experience hearing loss as a result of a blow on the head or the side of the jaw. 

If you have been exposed to loud noises, you could also experience partial hearing loss, permanently or temporarily. 

Get in touch with a trained audiologist at Adirondack Audiology to get your hearing checked if you are worried about hearing loss. You can book an appointment by calling this phone number at 800-273-9536.