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You might think hearing loss would be obvious to identify, but it’s not as straightforward to recognize as you may believe.

To begin with, most people with hearing loss have difficulties only with particular sounds and in distinct scenarios. And so, if you can hear normally on some occasions, you’ll be inclined to blame other factors or other people for the occasions you do have trouble hearing.

Second, hearing loss takes place slowly and gradually over the years, so it’s challenging to detect the slow development. It’s easier to blame others for mumbling, or to turn up the TV volume a little louder, than to admit that you might have hearing loss.

So, the signs can be elusive. You need to understand what to watch out for, and while it’s easy to deny that you have hearing loss, you should be truthful with yourself about the warning signs.

Here are the top 10 to watch out for. If you detect the presence of any, it may be time to organize 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 also be able to minimize the ringing in your ears.
  2. You are not able to hear regular household sounds – hearing loss can make it hard to hear the doorbell, the phone ringing, or a friend shouting your name from another room.
  3. You have trouble comprehending TV dialogue – speech is generally more difficult to hear than other sorts of sound. This often shows itself as trouble following movie or TV show plots.
  4. You have your phone, television, or radio at max volume – if you can hear the television, phone, or radio better than you can hear face-to-face discussions, check out the volume settings on your technology. You might have these devices set at elevated 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 need to ask people to repeat themselves when you’re not facing them.
  6. You commonly misinterpret what people are saying – consonants are higher-pitched, and thus more difficult to hear, than vowels. Considering that consonants transmit most of the meaning in a sentence, speech comprehension suffers.
  7. You have trouble hearing all the words in a discussion – select sounds and letters are more difficult to hear than others. What this means is you can hear most of the words in a sentence, but that you have to often times try to fill in the blanks.
  8. You have difficulty hearing when your back is to the speaker – you may be dependent on lip reading, body gestures, and other cues to meaning significantly more than you realize. When you’re not facing the speaker, and can’t use these cues, you may have trouble understanding speech.
  9. You have trouble hearing with a great deal of background noise – as hearing loss gets to be more serious, competing noise becomes more of a challenge. You might have the ability to hear speech in tranquil locations, but it becomes more and more difficult to follow discussions in a loud environment like a restaurant.
  10. People complain that you shout or have the TV volume too loud – people may remark that you have the TV volume too loud or that you have the tendency to shout. It doesn’t appear to be 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, set up your hearing test today, and take the steps to begin living an improved, more productive, and healthier life.