Your family often complains the TV is too loud, and most days end with a headache that won’t seem to go away. Still, you hear conversations with co-workers and loved ones just fine.
Many people live with some level of hearing loss, and it’s often age-related. Because hearing loss tends to occur gradually over time, many people fail to recognize the symptoms — and may not make an appointment to have their hearing tested.
Learn more about how you can identify the signs of hearing loss—and benefit from having your hearing tested.
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Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
No two people are the same or experience hearing loss at the same rate. Different diseases can affect your hearing, including diabetes or high blood pressure. Exposure to loud noises is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Head trauma can also contribute to hearing loss.
If any of these signs are familiar, it may be time to get your hearing tested.
- You ask those around you to repeat themselves on a regular basis.
- You have difficulty understanding and keeping track of group conversations.
- You’re unable to understand someone in the other room or on the phone if you cannot see their face.
- You avoid social settings because they’re too stressful or leave you with a headache.
Another possible sign of hearing loss is a frequent ringing in your ears, also known as tinnitus. In some cases, this can be an indication of hearing loss and calls for a hearing test.
Why Adults Resist Hearing Tests
“I can hear you just fine right now.”
“My friend had a bad experience, so I promised never to go.”
Excuses abound when it comes to avoiding a hearing test or wearing a hearing aid. One of the most common reasons many do not test their hearing is the belief that their hearing loss is not significant enough to benefit from help. Below are a few examples why some adults avoid having their hearing tested.
- They assume insurance will not cover the test or required hearing aid, or that a hearing aid itself is too expensive.
- They don’t realize they have hearing loss because it occurred gradually. Many people adapt to their impaired level of hearing without realizing.
- Unwillingness to admit to hearing loss. Some adults incorrectly view a hearing test or wearing a hearing aid as a sign of weakness or aging denial.
- Many avoid a hearing test as it would provide proof of a hearing loss they may be aware of, yet
- are unwilling to receive help for.
- Appearance. If test results indicate the need for a hearing aid, some do not want to wear it, as they believe wearing hearing aids will affect their appearance. With new technology, however, many hearing aids are so small they are not noticeable to others.
Benefits of Taking a Hearing Test
If you have a form of hearing loss, with the help of an assistive listening device such as a hearing aid, your quality of life can dramatically increase.
Just a few of the benefits of finding a solution for hearing loss include:
- A more keen ability to understand what is said in conversation, even in large groups.
- Less general tiredness and headaches, because you will not have to strain to hear conversations.
- Improved confidence and more desire to socialize.
Hearing tests can take place in many locations such as a doctor’s office or hearing lab, and by a speech therapist or audiologist.
Learn more about having your hearing tested
To find out more about hearing loss and tests visit Hearing and Balance Services at UPMC or make an appointment for a hearing test directly by contacting the UPMC Center for Audiology and Hearing Aids at (412) 647-2030.
About Ear Nose and Throat
The experts in the UPMC Department of Otolaryngology treat a variety of ear, nose, and throat (ENT) conditions in both children and adults. Our team includes board-certified physicians and highly skilled speech-language pathologists and audiologists. We provide both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options. Our research and clinical trials help to advance care for our patients. Find an ENT expert near you.