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You normally would think that hearing loss would be obvious to identify, but it’s not as easy to notice as you might think.

To begin with, most individuals with hearing loss have problems only with select sounds and in specific scenarios. And so, if you can hear normally on some occasions, you’ll tend to blame other factors or other people for the instances that you do have trouble hearing.

Second, hearing loss arises slowly as time passes, so it’s difficult to detect the slow progression. It’s faster and easier to blame it on others for mumbling, or to turn up the TV volume a little higher, than to admit that you might have hearing loss.

So, the signs and symptoms can be elusive. You have to understand what to watch for, and although it’s easy to disavow that you have hearing loss, you should be honest with yourself about the warning signs.

Here are the top 10 to look out for. If you recognize any, it may be time to arrange for a hearing test.

  1. You experience ringing or buzzing in the ears – this may be indicative of permanent hearing damage. Hearing aids can not only allow you to hear better, but they may additionally be able to relieve the ringing in your ears.
  2. You can’t hear regular household sounds – hearing loss can make it tough to hear the doorbell, the phone ringing, or another person shouting your name from another room.
  3. You have trouble understanding TV dialogue – speech is ordinarily a lot more challenging to hear than other types of sound. This often shows itself as trouble following movie or TV show plots.
  4. You have your phone, TV, or radio at max volume – if you can hear the television, phone, or radio much better than you can hear face-to-face discussions, check the volume settings on your technology. You may have these gadgets set at excessive volumes while concurrently thinking that everyone else talks too softly.
  5. You ask people to repeat themselves frequently – you detect that you say “what?” a lot, or that you have to ask people to repeat themselves when you’re not facing them.
  6. You frequently misconstrue what people are saying – consonants are higher-pitched, and thus much more difficult to hear, than vowels. Seeing as consonants convey most of the meaning in a sentence, speech comprehension suffers.
  7. You have trouble hearing all the words in a discussion – certain sounds and letters are more difficult to hear than others. What this means is you can hear the majority of the words in a sentence, but that you have to often times try to fill in the blanks.
  8. You have trouble hearing when your back is to the speaker – you may be dependent on lip reading, body gestures, and other cues to meaning much more than you think. When you’re not looking at the speaker, and can’t use these hints, you may have trouble understanding speech.
  9. You have trouble hearing with a great deal of background noise – as hearing loss gets to be worse, contending noise becomes more of a challenge. You might have the ability to hear speech in tranquil spaces, but it becomes progressively difficult to follow conversations in a noisy setting like a restaurant.
  10. People complain that you shout or have the TV volume too loud – people may notice that you have the television volume too loud or that you have the habit to shout. It doesn’t feel this way to you because you’re compensating for your hearing loss.

Do you have one or more of the top 10 warning signs of hearing loss? If yes, schedule your hearing test today, and take the steps to start living a better, more productive, and healthier life.