Did you know the average time it takes for a person to seek help once they’ve noticed their hearing has changed is eight years?!  If you’re worried that your hearing is deteriorating, the best thing you can do is to book a hearing test with a professional audiologist. Can:Do Hearing provides free hearing assessments for those over the age of 26, in addition to a full range of services for children.

Here are ten signs that it may be time to book a hearing test.

  • It’s difficult having a conversation in a noisy café

People with hearing loss often have problems blocking out background noise. It might feel like it takes a lot of energy to sustain conversations with friends or family that used to occur effortlessly.

  • You’ve started to miss out on important information during social engagements or meetings

When your hearing is starting to impact on your career and quality of life, it’s time to book a hearing test.

  • You struggle to understand children or females

People with high frequency hearing loss often complain that women and children mumble or ‘speak too quietly’. This type of hearing loss is very common, especially as we get older.

  • You have a history of ear infections, or have recently had an infection

Ear infections can result in both short and long term hearing impairments, and infection is the most common cause of hearing loss in young children. If you or your child has experienced ear infections, a hearing test is a must.

  • Your family complains about the TV volume

As hearing decreases, TV and radio volume tends to increase. Family members are often the first to notice signs of hearing loss – we are often told ‘the TV is up so much louder than in the past!’

  • You’ve noticed a ringing sensation in your ears

Tinnitus isn’t always experienced as a ringing in the ears – it may also sound like a buzzing, whistling or hissing. Whilst tinnitus is not always a symptom of hearing loss, it is a common first sign and as such shouldn’t be ignored.

  • Everyone is mumbling!

That’s right – over the past couple of years, everyone around you has suddenly started mumbling. Or maybe – just maybe – it’s time to book that hearing test you keep thinking about…

  • It’s difficult to hear people on the phone

Hearing loss usually happens gradually. In a face to face situation, those experiencing a decline in their hearing may subconsciously begin to rely on non-verbal cues such as body language to help work out what’s being said. Over the phone, these clues disappear, making communication very difficult.

  • You keep saying ‘what?’

Do you – or does someone you love – frequently ask others to repeat what they’ve just said? This is another common sign that it’s time to book an appointment to check your hearing.

  • You’ve started to avoid outings and interactions you used to enjoy.

Untreated hearing loss can have serious emotional and social consequences. If you’ve stopped taking part in activities you used to enjoy, or feel as though you’re withdrawing from social interaction, a hearing test could be the first step to improving your wellbeing and reducing your feeling of isolation.