Can you hear those sleigh bells ring?

By: Karen Whitfield

The signs of hearing loss can be subtle and emerge slowly, or they can be significant and come on suddenly! Either way, there are common indications. You should suspect hearing loss if you experience any of the signs below. You might have hearing loss if you…

Socially:

  • Require frequent repetition;
  • Have difficulty following conversations involving more than two people;
  • Think that other people sound muffled or like they’re mumbling;
  • Have difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms;
  • Have trouble hearing children and women;
  • Have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume;
  • Answer or respond inappropriately in conversations;
  • Have ringing in your ears; and/or
  • Read lips or more intently watch people’s faces when they speak with you.

Medically:

  • Have a family history of hearing loss;
  • Take medications that can harm the hearing system (ototoxic drugs);
  • Have diabetes, heart, circulation or thyroid problems;
  • Have been exposed to very loud sounds over a long period or single exposure to explosive noise.

Identifying a hearing loss can help prevent accelerated cognitive decline and the early onset of dementia – preserving and extending your mental health and independence.  It can reduce the risk of injury-causing falls.  It can allow you to interact with confidence!