Could You Have Hearing Loss?
Did you know that around 50% of people older than 75 have experienced hearing loss of some level? Some of them have even experienced it to the point that they need a hearing aid to be able to hear anything at all, but it can be hard to tell without a hearing test with an audiologist how much the hearing is starting to go.
Your hearing may not be something that you concern yourself with right now but it should be. It should be because as you get older, your hearing isn't going to be as sharp as it once was. In fact, it may not be too sharp right now, and that's why you're here looking for answers as to whether you have hearing loss or not.
An audiologist will be able to test your hearing to tell you whether there is any hearing loss at all, but there are some key signs that you will be able to tell whether your hearing is declining or not. You will be able to notice quickly if there are any changes, but it can help to have a list of definite signs that your hearing is changing.
You're hearing a lot of mumbling
When your hearing starts to decline, one of the very first things that you notice is that everyone around you seems to be mumbling their words. They're not, but it sure sounds that way to you! The first part of the sentence starts to fade out and digraph sounds start to fade away, too.
It sounds to you as if people aren't speaking all that clearly, and you accuse them of mumbling, which alienates you from your friends and family. When you can hear mostly vowel sounds but fewer consonants, people don't sound all that clear to you when they talk.
You can't follow conversations
Previously, you've been in group conversations and have had no issues following along despite all of the micro-conversations going on around you. Now, you're struggling to decipher the conversation that you're listening to while all the other background noise is happening. It's worse now with people wearing masks, but when their masks are off, you're still struggling to capture the full words they're saying to you. You feel as if you're bluffing your way through conversations and you can't keep up with people anymore.
Phone calls feel impossible
Even if you weren't nervous about being on the phone before, you are now! Talking on the phone feels difficult as you're practically forcing the phone into your ear to hear the person on the other end.
If you notice that you are doing this, you need to seek help from an audiologist who can run hearing tests and plot your hearing on an audiogram to know the extent of the problem. Talking on the phone can be a thing of the past but when you get new hearing aids, you could have them Bluetooth-enabled and get your calls this way instead!