1. Feeling like everyone mumbles
You may find yourself thinking, ‘Why do people mumble so much these days? If only they spoke clearly, I’d be able to hear them’. This is how hearing loss creeps up on you. When hearing deteriorates, we don’t lose all sounds at the same time. It happens gradually over many years. Commonly, the first sounds that become lost are high pitched sounds like a bird chirping or a car indicator. The important high pitched sounds that give speech clarity are the first to disappear. You get the overall message but the speech becomes a little fuzzy around the edges. It’s like listening to radio that’s out of tune. If would like to experience what this can sound like, please click here.
2. Turning up the volume on the TV/ Radio
The TV volume seems to be getting louder and louder. Visitors arrive and comment in alarm, ‘Why is that TV blaring? Can we please turn that down?’
As you lose the clarity of the TV, you may start to increase the volume to try to compensate. Even then, the TV can be difficult to hear. Is this due to the sound quality of the announcer or the particular program? This can play a part, but mostly, it is a sign that you have lost some of your hearing.
Active Audiology has clinics all over Melbourne, we can address this issue very effectively with the latest technology including hearing aids, Bluetooth streaming devices and assistive listening devices. For a free demonstration, make an appointment with our qualified Audiologists.
3. Social situations are exhausting
You are sitting at a table of ten in a busy café. Everyone is speaking at once. You battle to hear the conversation over background noise- the coffee machine, music and the clashing of plates and cutlery. The waiter stands at the opposite end of the table. He asks a question. Your friend six seats away responds and the table bursts into laughter. You laugh too, pretending you are in on the joke. Unfortunately, you haven’t heard a thing and haven’t a clue what’s so funny. This situation is very familiar to people with hearing loss.
When you have a hearing loss, hearing in background noise becomes a huge challenge. You need to concentrate much harder than someone with normal hearing. You may fill in the gaps when you can’t hear by using the context and lip reading. Recent studies show this ‘listening effort’ puts extra strain on your brain (Peelle, 2018). All this straining to hear can leave you feeling exhausted and deflated.
4.Withdrawing from social situations
Research has shown that older people with hearing loss gradually become less outgoing (Ingeborg, 2014). Social situations become less enjoyable as having a chat with friends and acquaintances becomes tiring and stressful. It can be embarrassing when you have misheard and give a wrong answer. So it makes sense that social withdrawal and loneliness are common for people with hearing loss.
There are great strategies and technologies available to improve your hearing in background noise and keep you socially active. For further information, click here.
5.Problems hearing on the phone
You find yourself battling to hear friends and family on the phone. To get the volume you need, you put the voice on loudspeaker and then everyone else can hear the caller too! Is your new mobile phone the problem? Is it the digital phone at home? Not likely… When you are hard of hearing, you rely on being able to see a person’s face to help you. On the phone you lose this extra information making it harder to hear. At Active Audiology, we can offer advice on the latest technology to help you on the phone. There is so much available now to give you a high quality phone signal directly to both ears.