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You may think that hearing loss would be simple to identify, but it’s not as straightforward to notice as you may think.

First, most individuals with hearing loss have trouble only with particular sounds and in specific situations. And so, if you can hear normally on some occasions, you’ll be inclined to pin the blame on other factors or other people for the instances that you do have difficulty hearing.

Second, hearing loss appears slowly and gradually as time goes by, so it’s challenging to recognize the slow development. It’s simpler and easier to blame it on others for mumbling, or to turn up the TV volume a bit louder, than to confess that you may have hearing loss.

So, the signs can be elusive. You need to know what to watch for, and although 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 book a hearing exam.

  1. You experience ringing in the ears – this might be an indication of permanent hearing injury. Hearing aids can not only allow you to hear better, but they may also have the ability 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 telephone ringing, or another person calling your name from another room.
  3. You have difficulty comprehending TV dialogue – speech is usually much more challenging to hear than other types of sound. This often shows itself as trouble following movie or television show plots.
  4. You have your cellphone, television, or radio at maximum volume – if you can hear the TV, phone, or radio much better than you can hear face-to-face discussions, check the volume settings on your technology. You may have these devices set at excessive volumes while also 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 therefore much more difficult to hear, than the lower-pitched vowels. Given that consonants communicate 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. Consequently, you can hear most of the words in a sentence, but that you have to more often than not try to fill in the blanks.
  8. You have trouble hearing when your back is to the speaker – you may rely on lip reading, body gestures, and other tips to meaning much more than you realize. When you’re not facing the speaker, and can’t use these hints, you may have trouble comprehending speech.
  9. You have difficulty hearing with lots of background noise – as hearing loss gets to be worse, contending noise becomes more of a challenge. You might manage to hear speech in quiet settings, but it becomes increasingly difficult to follow conversations in a noisy environment like a restaurant.
  10. People say that you shout or have the TV volume too loud – people may notice 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 so, set up your hearing test today, and take the steps to start living a better, more productive, and healthier life.