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Hand to Ear

Signs of Hearing Loss

How do you know if you’re affected by hearing loss? The answer isn’t as obvious as you’d think. For many people, hearing loss comes on gradually enough that they continue to think their hearing is fine, even when it’s not.
But there are signs you can watch for.

Regular check-ups are the best way to know how your hearing health is doing. If you haven’t had a professional exam in a while, ask your regular doctor or visit an audiologist. A check-up once a year is always a good idea. Still, there are signs you might recognize on your own.

Common hearing loss symptoms:

  • Other people comment that your TV or radio is too loud
  • Difficulty following conversations involving 2 or more people
  • Confusion or difficulty focusing in noisy areas (restaurants, malls, meetings, etc.)
  • Relying more on reading lips or watching people’s faces as they talk
  • Common sounds seem muffled
  • Difficulty hearing women and children’s voices
  • Unrelated answers or comments to questions/conversations
  • Ringing sensation in the ears

Medical cues:

  • Exposure to loud sounds over a long period
  • Single exposure to explosive noise
  • Diabetes, heart, circulatory or thyroid conditions
  • Family history of hearing loss
  • Medications (ototoxic drugs) that may affect hearing

Emotional cues:

  • You feel stressed out when listening to someone
  • You feel frustrated that people mumble or don’t speak up
  • You’re embarrassed about not following conversations
  • You feel nervous you won’t understand something
  • You avoid social situations
  • You don’t enjoy being with people as much as you used to

You may be surprised to recognize some of these cues in your life. If so, don’t be embarrassed to get your hearing checked. Most people are pleased by how simple treatment can be and are delighted by what a difference it makes.

Is your hearing suffering?
Symptoms and causes that may
surprise you.
Ototoxic drugs

Did you know some medications can
alter hearing? If you take common drugs such as antibiotics, aspirin, diuretics or chemotherapy, ask your doctor or pharmacist about ototoxicity. While affects are not seen in every case, you can test your hearing before, during and after treatment to monitor your hearing health.