Listen up! Hearing loss is a big problem nationwide. About 48 million people have a hearing loss, and while some people are born with the condition, for many it’s an unavoidable part of the aging process. In fact, one in three Americans suffers from hearing loss by age 65. Since symptoms often develop gradually, many people don’t realize that their hearing isn’t as good as it used to be until it begins to affect their quality of life. Not sure if your hearing is in decline? The following signs can help clue you in. Ask yourself:
- When having a normal conversation, do you have trouble understanding what the other person is saying (especially women and children)?
- Do you have a harder time hearing when there’s a lot of background noise, or when more than one person is talking (in restaurants, at parties etc.)?
- Do other people in your household complain that you have volume set too high on the TV or radio?
- Do you find it difficult to hear on the telephone?
- Do you frequently experience ringing in your ears?
- Do you commonly have to ask others to repeat themselves? Do you often misunderstand what they have said?
- Have you been told that you tend to speak too loudly?
If your answer to more than three of these questions is “yes,” it might be time to make an appointment for a hearing screening. If there’s a problem, your doctor can offer options that will help you hear better. That way you can keep up with your normal activities and say goodbye to the anxiety and frustration of hearing loss.