Six symptoms of hearing loss as experts urge people to take simple three-minute test

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Experts have identified six telltale signs and symptoms of hearing loss that could indicate you have a problem.

According to Hearing Link, as many as 11 million people in the UK suffer from some form of hearing loss, making it the second most common disability. People who often suffer from hearing loss may become withdrawn and distant in social situations or find it difficult to perform normal tasks such as having a conversation on the phone.

Treating hearing loss can not only improve the health and well-being of the sufferer, but also those around them, which has a hugely positive effect on their social relationships and love life. That’s why if you recognize a number of these signs in yourself or someone close to you, you need to take action.

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Katie Ogden, Training Manager resound North West Europe, described the symptoms and signs of hearing loss to look out for.

The expert also suggested taking a three-minute online hearing test tool that can help you decide whether to see a doctor for help. The test was developed in collaboration with Charlotte Thunberg Jespersen, Audiology Development Manager at ReSound, and MA Speech and Hearing Science, University of Copenhagen.

Here are six signs of hearing loss…

ask you to repeat yourself

Everyone can hear things wrong from time to time and need to be repeated, but if you or your loved one are constantly asking for things to be repeated or mumbling the phrase “what did you say?”. It could be a sign that you are lacking the sounds and cues needed to process speech properly.

complaining about mumbling

People with hearing loss often complain that people don’t speak clearly or mumble. This may be because people with hearing loss cannot hear high pitched voice frequencies, hear the vowels which are the sound of the word, but not the consonants which are the clarity and meaning of the word, which gives them the impression that they can hear the sound but not fully understand it.

Difficulty with telephone conversations

If your loved one has turned their cellphone volume to the maximum possible or needs to use the speakerphone to hear what someone on the other end of the line is saying, this could be a sign that they could benefit hearing aids.

Listen to TV at a high volume

TV shows with fast-paced dialogue or a significant amount of background noise can be difficult for the hearing impaired to follow, as crucial speech can often be drowned out, leading people to listen to the TV at a much higher volume.

So, if a friend or family member needs to turn up the volume on the TV to a level that is uncomfortable for others watching in the room, this could be a sign that they could benefit from a hearing assessment.

There is also online hearing tests for those who are not comfortable going directly to an audiologist, who can offer further guidance on clarity and next steps.

Appearing withdrawn or silent

People who are hard of hearing often become calmer or may seem to withdraw in social situations or noisy environments.

This may be because that person is frustrated at not being able to hear properly, or because they feel embarrassed or self-conscious about having to ask others to repeat themselves.

Three-minute hearing test

Want to get your hearing checked quickly? The ReSound UK online hearing test provides a quick way to find out if you can hear well.

The test only takes three minutes. Here’s how to get the most accurate result and what to expect:

  • Find a quiet place to perform the hearing test
  • When you start the test, we ask you to enter your gender and age, then make sure your sound settings are set correctly.
  • Choose whether you prefer to use your device’s speakers or headphones. Headphones will provide you with more accurate results and, unlike device speakers, will test your right and left ears individually
  • Make sure the volume is turned on and set to a comfortable level
  • You will first hear different combinations of words, then numbers, always in groups of three, while the background noise varies
  • Select the three things you hear by selecting the corresponding icon or number displayed on the left
  • If you get distracted and miss any of the words, you can tap the replay button to repeat the last combination
  • If you are using headphones, a hearing test will be performed for the right and left ears
  • Finally, if you use hearing aids, we recommend that you remove them during the test.
  • Instant result – once you have completed the test, the result will be immediately displayed on the screen

Take the hearing test here.

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