Have you noticed that it is difficult to carry on a conversation in a restaurant? Are family members complaining that you have the TV on too loud? These are some of the more common symptoms that you have hearing loss. Other symptoms are subtle. It’s no wonder that many people live with undiagnosed hearing loss for years before seeking treatment. Don’t wait to treat hearing loss until it can no longer be ignored. If any of these situations seem familiar, see a hearing care professional for a hearing screening.

Conversation is difficult

This doesn’t mean you avoid discussing money, politics or religion. It means you complain that everyone around you is always mumbling.

Do you ever wish people would speak up or speak clearly? If so, if might not be their speech that is a problem; it could be your hearing.

If you have problems hearing speech clearly from a person that is behind you, it could be a symptom of hearing loss.

If you avoid phone conversations because it is tiring and hard to hear the other person clearly, it might not be the connection or your phone, it might be a sign of hearing loss.

Background noise is a problem

Are you avoiding parties and small get-togethers? If online chatrooms are more comfortable than meeting rooms and living rooms, you might have a problem with hearing loss.

One symptom is the inability to follow a conversation if more than one person is talking at once or if there is background noise, such as the rattle of silverware. If the sound of the neighbor’s mower keeps you from hearing your spouse while chatting on the patio, it might be a sign of unbalanced hearing.

Your ears need to hear equally to process the sounds around you. If you aren’t hearing the same from both ears, the brain gets an unbalanced signal and hearing is difficult. If background noise causes difficulty in hearing, it might be a sign of hearing loss.

The birds no longer sing

Have the birds in your neighborhood lost their will to sing? Do their chirps and calls no longer greet the sunrise and sunset each day? If you think the birds have cut back on their vocalizations, you might have hearing loss.

With sensorineural hearing loss, the high frequencies are usually the first to go. That means it is difficult to hear the birds chirping or the voices of small children and some women.

If you think the birds have quit singing or that women and children have stopped speaking to you, it might be a sign of hearing loss.

Hearing screenings

If one or more of these situations apply to you, have a hearing screening performed right away. It can be done in the doctor’s office or at a local health fair. A simple screening can determine if you have hearing loss. If hearing loss is detected, then you know it is time for a full hearing evaluation.