A Grandchild’s first words, the rustle of leaves in the wind, whispered secrets from a best friend – these are examples of special moments in time. Hearing enables us to understand people and interact with the world around us – something that most people take for granted. All of these pleasurable experiences can be taken away with hearing loss.
Hearing loss has a strong influence on human well-being and quality of life. It can reduce a person’s ability to converse with others, often beginning with misinterpreting what is said or asking others to repeat themselves. Some people may become anxious and withdraw from social gatherings as their self-confidence is reduced.
Hearing loss is not something to be taken lightly. Life is short, so it is important to take action sooner rather than later.
First Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss usually develops slowly over many years. The effects are often gradual unless there is a medical or genetic reason for the hearing problem. Generally, those affected by hearing loss find it difficult to recognise the signs. Relatives, friends or colleagues are often the first to realise that something is wrong.
Some signs of hearing impairment:
- Difficulty hearing over the phone
- Family complaining that the TV or radio is too loud
- Difficulty following a conversation in a restaurant or when there is a lot of background noise
- Feeling exhausted after family celebrations because listening is such an effort
- Hearing more easily when looking at the person talking
Possible Impacts of Hearing Loss
- Decreased attention (fatigue and cognitive overload due to the increased effort that is required for listening.)
- Diminished understanding of speech/conversation
- Difficulty communicating with family and friends
- Diminished memory
- Withdrawal from social life, isolation
- Decline in job performance
- Irritability, stress, depression, lack of confidence
- Increased awareness of tinnitus
- Emotional impact of all of the above
How Good is Your Hearing?
A hearing test is the best way to assess your hearing ability. A full diagnostic test involves headphone testing, bone conduction, speech audiometry, speech in noise testing and immittance (middle ear check), followed by an in-depth discussion about your results. We can advise you of any actions required following your test.