For some of us, the need for a hearing test can be undeniable. The strain to make out what is going on in a conversation or in the world might be more than obvious. However, some people, particularly those in the earlier stages of hearing loss, can have limitations they do not even realize. Our minds and bodies are remarkably adept at accommodating our circumstances. Psychologists sometimes refer to this process as “satisficing,” getting by with the resources we have available.
Although the situation might not be optimal, we are able to make do with limitations, adapting to a situation that meets the basic requirements of acceptability. When it comes to our hearing ability, this tendency can happen consciously or unconsciously. By trying to fit into conversations without capturing everything that is said, nodding and smiling, or pretending to know what is going on, many people find themselves working around hearing limitations to find a way to simply get through a situation. Others might find themselves reading lips, positioning themselves closer to a speaker, or reading into context clues to figure out what is going on.
Although you might think you are doing just fine with your hearing ability or loss, research shows that there are a host of negative health and wellness outcomes associated with untreated hearing loss. Though you might feel like you are willing to check out on conversations once in a while, the effects on your cognitive, mental, and even physical wellbeing can be dramatic. Noticing the early warning signs of hearing loss can put you on the path to better communication and health before they get out of hand. The following are some of the easiest ways to identify hearing loss.
The most common clues that you might need to get a hearing test have to do with your ability to carry on a conversation. Everyone has moments when they can’t hear what is going on in a conversation, but the more frequent these moments the more likely it is that you need to get a hearing test. If you find yourself asking others to repeat themselves more often than other people in a conversation, that can be a sign of hearing loss. Other conversational signs include missing pieces of information or not hearing another person ask a question from another room of the house. Although there are steps your family can take to make communication easier even if you have hearing loss, the real solution is to get a hearing test and to seek treatment.
Social events are when your hearing limitations can really be put on display. If you go to a restaurant or other place with lots of voices competing to be heard, it can be very difficult to make out what others are saying. If you find yourself checking out and simply feeling like you can’t keep up in these settings, then hearing ability might be the source of struggle. In addition, you might find that you are newly anxious about attending social events, even hesitating to take part. Your feelings of isolation are one sign that hearing loss might be getting in the way of your ability to socially thrive.
Other signs of hearing loss are woven into everyday life. If your television is often turned up to a very loud volume and friends or family members point out discomfort, then you might be raising that volume to make up for your own struggle to hear. Difficulties on the telephone are yet another challenge for those with hearing loss. Not only might you miss the ringer in some instances, but calls can become muffled, and you might miss out on important information.
Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss
If you have noticed any of these early warning signs of hearing loss, then don’t delay scheduling a hearing test. The test itself is quick, easy, and completely painless. Once you have the results of your exam, we will be able to recommend a range of hearing aids that are suited to your individual lifestyle and hearing needs. With assistance, you may find that many of these struggles in conversation, social events, and everyday life are greatly improved. Contact us today to learn more!