Signs of Hearing Loss
Patricia E. Connelly, PhD, CCC-A, FAAA, New Jersey Medical School, NEWARK, NJ
THE SIGNS OF HEARING LOSS CAN BE SUBTLE AND EMERGE SLOWLY, OR THEY CAN BE SIGNIFICANT AND COME ON SUDDENLY. EITHER WAY, THERE ARE COMMON INDICATIONS. YOU SHOULD SUSPECT HEARING LOSS IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY OF THE SIGNS BELOW.
You might have hearing loss if you . . .
- require frequent repetition.
- have difficulty following conversations involving more than 2 people.
- think that other people sound muffled or like they're mumbling.
- have difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms.
- have trouble hearing children and women.
- have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume.
- answer or respond inappropriately in conversations.
- have ringing in your ears.
- read lips or more intently watch people's faces when they speak with you.
- feel stressed out from straining to hear what others are saying.
- feel annoyed at other people because you can't hear or understand them.
- feel embarrassed to meet new people or from misunderstanding what others are saying.
- feel nervous about trying to hear and understand.
- withdraw from social situations that you once enjoyed because of difficulty hearing.
- have a family history of hearing loss.
- take medications that can harm the hearing system (ototoxic drugs).
- have diabetes, heart, circulation or thyroid problems.
- have been exposed to very loud sounds over a long period or single exposure to explosive noise.