Approximately 30 million Americans have hearing loss that could benefit from hearing aids. Of those over 70 years old, only 30% have ever used hearing aids. Of those between 20 and 69, only 16% have ever used hearing aids. Many people don’t know how to identify signs of hearing loss, so it can go undiagnosed for years. Family members often accommodate for hearing loss, sometimes without even realizing it. Untreated hearing loss can impact everyone in the household, not just the person with hearing loss.
In most cases, hearing loss occurs gradually which can make it challenging for patients and family members to identify. Here are the most common signs of hearing loss to be on the lookout for:
You frequently say “what?” and have to ask others to repeat themselves.
You prefer to watch TV at a volume that others find too loud.
You have trouble understanding conversations in environments with a lot of background noise, such as restaurants.
You find women’s and children’s voices more difficult to understand than male voices.
You constantly feel like others are mumbling.
You have trouble hearing on the phone.
You have ringing in your ears.
You have trouble understanding people through face masks because you rely on reading lips.
You have trouble understanding people who are not directly in front of you.
You avoid social situations that were once enjoyable.
If that list feels familiar to you, it may be time to schedule a hearing test. On average, people experience hearing loss for 7.5 years before they seek help with hearing aids. It doesn’t have to be that way. Hearing aids can be appropriate for mild and moderate hearing losses, as well as severe hearing loss.