Sometimes it is difficult to tell when your hearing has gotten worse. You do things like turning up the volume or lip reading to offset the hearing loss. This can be considered lucky because you are still able to hear, but to what extent? When your hearing is declining, you miss out on other aspects of life, like communication. You can ask your communication partners to speak louder or repeat themselves, but that eventually can cause frustration to both parties. Let’s go over some ways you can tell if you or a loved one are offsetting hearing loss and tips to make it better.
If you or someone you know:
- Have to look directly at someone when they speak
- Ask people to repeat themselves
- Think people mumble
- Have a hard time understanding children
- Miss sirens or alarms
- Have trouble hearing in the car
- Have trouble determining where sounds are coming from
If you experience any of these, it may be time to get your hearing checked! Issues with understanding people can cause issues with communication. But issues with not being able to hear sirens and alarms in the car and home are cause for safety concerns. Missing sirens could mean that you do not hear emergency vehicles and missing alarms could mean that you do not get your wake-up call or that the food in the oven is burning.
Good news for you, there are things you can do to help your hearing!
- Get a Hearing Test: The audiologist or hearing care professional can tell you if you have hearing loss and explain what your options are, like hearing aids or assistive listening devices.
- Learn American Sign Language: Learning ASL can help with some of the communication barriers. This can also be a good way to get the family involved. ASL is considered a foreign language, so if you use it those around also have to know it in order to understand you. ASL can be useful in loud situations!
- Flashing Alarms: You can install devices in your home that can notify you by flashing lights. Doorbells and baby monitors have these capabilities. Lights in the home will start flashing when the doorbell is being rung or when a baby is crying.
- Bed Shakers: Can be attached to a mattress that can notify the user by vibrations that it is time to wake up.
Do not rely on luck with your hearing! There are ways to allow you to hear better. If you are having difficulties, consult your local audiologist or hearing care professional.