Are there some situations where you feel you are not hearing as well as you should? Here’s a self-evaluation which may help you decide whether to seek professional help and have your hearing checked. Remember, that unfortunately it is ‘natural’ for our hearing (and our vision and our muscles etc) to decline as we age so it is important to look after our senses. A hearing loss takes out the depth of sound, it removes the texture, detail and emotion and this means you are missing out on the richness of sound.
If you answer yes to two or more of these questions then you might have a hearing loss. It is normal for fully hearing people to have trouble in some of these situations.
(1) Does hearing loss run in your family?
(2) Are you over 50 years of age?
(3) Have you had significant exposure to loud noises such as machinery or music bands?
(4) Did you serve in the armed forces?
(5) Do you find it hard to hear in places such as a restaurant where there is a lot of background noise?
(6) Do you often ask people to repeat themselves?
(7) Have any of your family, friends or colleagues suggested you are not hearing things too well?
(8) Do you have the television volume up higher than other family members would like?
(9) Do you find you like to sit so the person you are talking to is always on one side of you?
(10) Do you always answer the phone using the same ear?
(11) Do you think other people mumble instead of speaking clearly?
(12) Do you find it tiring to be in a group of people conversing?
(13) Are you avoiding social situations because you find it hard to understand people?
(14) Do you have tinnitus (constant noises in your head usually high pitched squeaks, squeals or clicks)?
(15) Do you hear conversation but only pick up some of the words, usually managing by guessing the rest?
(16) Is it easier to converse one-on-one than in a group?
(17) Are meetings, movies or speakers at functions difficult for you to follow?
(18) Is it easier to understand men than women?
(19) Are children’s voices hard to understand?
(20) Are you startled when someone comes up to you because you haven’t heard them?
If you’ve answered yes to some of these questions ask a friend who you know has good hearing to help you do a test. Have them turn on your tv, sit in your chair and set the volume to the level they find comfortable. Can you hear the dialogue? Keep a diary for a few days of where you find it hard to hear, when you’ve asked people to repeat themselves. Work out if there is a trend. You might have a hearing loss and it could be worth having your hearing checked.