A hearing loss often takes hold gradually and can be difficult to notice over time. It is only when friends or family comment and highlight concerns that you start to wonder if something might be wrong.

We asked our senior audiologist, Sharon Harris, based at our clinic at Spencer Margate Private Hospital, to help identify and explore some of the early signs of hearing loss.

Sharon Harris

“Hello, my name is Sharon Harris and I have been working in audiology for more than 15 years. I see so many patients from all backgrounds and stages of life. It surprises me every day how unaware some of my patients are when they come to see me for a hearing test and I diagnose a hearing loss.

“Here are my top three common early signs that you should look out for. If you recognise any of these in yourself or those you care for, please contact your local Hearbase audiologist to discuss a free, no-obligation private hearing test.”

Sharon’s top three signs of hearing loss

1 TV/radio/music too loud

Is your television too loud?

Have you noticed that the TV needs to be louder for you than for other family members or friends? This is possibly the most common sign of a hearing loss and the one that, for me, you should pay close attention to if others are asking you to turn down the TV because it’s too loud.

2 Asking others to repeat themselves

Do you need to get people to repeat themselves?

Has your wife/husband/son/daughter commented that they are having to repeat part of a conversation to you and that you are missing things? Do they get a bit frustrated with you? Again, it is only when we are trying to communicate with the ones we love and care for that they notice a problem and tell you about it to try to help.

3 Difficulty following conversations in noisy environments

Do you struggle to hear in noisy environments

When you are out and about with friends and family, are you managing to join in the conversation, especially if there is a lot of noise in the background? Busy restaurants, events, parties, church services or other social gatherings can be very noisy places with lots of people or sounds making it harder for you to keep up with conversation or focus on what’s being said.

These are my top three signs of hearing loss to look out for, but there are many more ways you can also spot an issue with your hearing and consider getting things checked with an audiologist:

  • Do you find sometimes that people talk too fast, or that speech sounds unclear or muffled?
  • Do you tend to mis-hear what people say, and then answer them incorrectly?
  • Do you feel you struggle to hear people who are softly or quietly spoken?
  • Do you struggle to hear if someone calls from another room?
  • How are you managing on the telephone? Can you follow the conversation if someone has an accent? Do you need to have the phone on loudspeaker?
  • Can you hear shop assistants or people serving you in cafes or restaurants?
  • Are you hearing the consultant when you go to medical appointments?
  • Can you hear the passengers/driver when talking in the car over the road noise?
  • Can you hear the sermon being read in Church?
  • Can you hear outside when it’s windy?

Quality of life

“Not being able to hear seriously impacts your quality of life, not to mention talking to friends, family and others,” said Sharon. “I recommend if you show any of these early signs, you should get your hearing checked. If you are concerned about someone close to you who struggles to hear, speak to them about getting a free hearing test.”

Call us today on 0800 028 6179 or email admin@hearbase.com to book a hearing test with your nearest Hearbase audiologist.