If you do these 6 things you may need to visit an Audiologist!

If you love going to concerts, use a Bluetooth earpiece, or wear earbuds you may be putting your health at risk and not even know it! We live in a world where noise is a constant; honestly, we do not even realize how loud things are. Construction sites, firing ranges, going on a bird hunt, and even that awesome rock concert may not be what is best for your ears.

Now, I love loud live music and I always have. I absolutely turn the radio up loud…and the television, and I ask people to speak up when I cannot hear them. Yes, I also wear hearing aids in both ears due to hearing loss. Now, being hearing impaired has taught me to cope with my hearing loss. Many people cope with hearing loss in our society and do not even recognize what they are doing.

There are things that people do that may be signs they need to go get their hearing checked out by an Audiologist with a specific hearing test that can determine if their hearing loss is significant enough to need a hearing aid.

This list is not complete by any means, nor it is a medical diagnosis. However, if you or someone you know are using these as coping techniques you may want to pursue going to the Audiologist:

1. People complain that you have things turned up too loud.

You are used to hearing people say, “Can you turn that down please?”

You are constantly turning up the volume on the radio, television, or your laptop. Or, you ask others to turn up the volume. This may sound obvious, but many simply do not see this as a sign of hearing loss.

2. Asking people to repeat what they say.

You commonly use the phrase, “What did you say?” Or, “Huh?”

That’s right, those with middle tone loss (like I have) tend to have difficulty hearing what an average adult says to them even at close range sometimes. Now, I did say an adult; children usually have higher pitched voices so you may not have as much difficulty hearing them.

3. Changing rooms during a conversation.

You tend to say things like, “Wait a minute, I will be right there.” Or, “I can’t hear you, can you come in here please?”

Now, this may sound a bit strange but stay with me here. Usually those with hearing loss need to be in the same room with the person(s) they are talking to. Even yelling from one room to the next often poses problems for them. They will either go into the room with the person who is talking, or ask them to come into the room where they are.

4. Not hearing what others are saying correctly.

Think: do you often here the phrase, “I didn’t say that!”

Many times, those with hearing loss hear a few phonetic sounds of the word and their brains may piece the rest of the word together. If you tend to hear words that were never said or have misinterpreted words regularly, this is a sign you need not ignore.

5. Sitting in one specific area in large meeting places.

For example, I tend to want to sit in the front left of any meeting I am in: in a staff meeting at work, in church, or when I am in a class. I do not sit there out of habit. I sit there because I hear better when I am in that specific location. People who have hearing loss usually want to sit with their stronger ear towards the speaker; thus they regularly want to sit in the same location.

6. You watch people’s mouths.

You don’t do this because you like the color of their lipstick, you watch their mouths to read their lips. Yes, even people with a mild hearing loss will do this, so that they “hear” what the person is saying correctly. Usually, your eyes can help your brain understand what the person is saying by reading their lips, so that your brain does not make up the syllables it did not hear.

Again, this list is really not exhaustive, but it is a list of things to consider. If you really do have the above issues, you may want to consider visiting an Audiologist. Now, I have had hearing aids since I was a child, so I am quite used to all of the above accommodations. People even with a mild hearing loss tend to cope naturally.

What you do not want to do is ignore these signs. Your coping strategies will not solve your hearing loss.

For more information on symptoms of hearing loss visit this page.

Featured photo credit: Man with hearing aid/Bundesinnung Hörgeräteakustiker via flickr.com

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