Six signs you may be losing your hearing

Hearing loss affects one in every 10 Canadians.

Reduced hearing sensitivity creeps in so slowly, however, that about 80 per cent of those people don’t even realize it.

If you can relate to at least two of the following clues that your hearing may not be as sharp as it once was, you’ll likely want to book a free hearing assessment.

1. You think people around you are mumbling. Most hearing loss begins with the soft, high-frequency sounds.

Because consonants fall within this range, even mild hearing loss can make it sound like people are mumbling.

2. Your family complains that the TV is too loud.

If everyone in the house can follow the plot of your favourite show even though you’re the only one watching it, that’s a good sign there could be a problem.

3. You find yourself irritated at social gatherings. Interpreting speech in a loud, boisterous environment with less than perfect hearing requires tremendous focus.

You may not notice the extra energy you put into it, but you and everyone else will notice how it leaves you feeling: tired, grumpy and irritable.

4. You find background noise irritating.

Background noise is the nemesis of people with reduced hearing sensitivity.

Due to the slow, degenerative nature of hearing loss, however, it’s also one of the hardest to notice on your own.

Watch for cues from your peers; if everyone else seems to be catching every punch line, that’s your first clue.

5. You have a hard time understanding children or people with accents.

Interpreting speech that is itself spoken less than clearly requires a lot of attention and precise hearing. Children can be especially difficult to understand.

6. You can’t hear anything.


Martin Jurek is a Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioner and co-owns Campbell River Hearing Clinic with his wife Jana.

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