Whenever I welcome a new patient to my practice, I always ask them to describe anything different that they’ve noticed about their hearing. Why did they decide to come for help?
Below are the most common replies I receive from patients. If any of these situations seem familiar to you, I strongly encourage you to make an appointment with me for a hearing test. Remember – the earlier a hearing loss is identified, the easier it is to treat it.
Keeping Up With Conversations
I’ve lost count of the number of patients who are clearly frustrated and embarrassed about having to ask others to repeat themselves constantly. To make matters worse, they often don’t realize they are asking, “Could you repeat that, please?” because it has just become a natural everyday thing they do. It is only when loved ones or work colleagues point it out that they realize they are struggling to hear.
Noisy environments, such as restaurants or bars, are especially difficult, making patients’ social lives, well … less social.
Then there are the male patients who are distraught because their wives and children complain about being ignored. I then explain to them that their voices are spoken at a higher frequency, and when you have a hearing loss, it’s these higher frequencies that are the first ones that people can no longer hear.
Struggling With Phone Conversations
Often patients say that they have noticed phone conversations are difficult to follow. They are tired of straining to hear what is being said, or they tend to switch the phone to their other ear.
We don’t tend to realize this, as it’s become so engrained into our lives, but when we speak to someone face to face, we aren’t only listening to them, but we are also watching their lips move and we take in any non-verbal communication. This helps us to receive a complete picture of what the other person is saying.
Talking on the phone eliminates these visual elements, and when you have a hearing loss, several main pieces of the puzzle remain a mystery.
Sometimes patients say that certain words seem muffled or unclear. This is because their hearing loss is not picking up the consonants in words.
Increased Need For Louder Volume
Many patients lose the enjoyment they used to get from watching TV or listening to music because hearing it has become difficult. They tend to increase the volume to hear better, and this often results in complaints from other family members who don’t have a hearing loss.
Regular Headaches And Tiredness
Patients often complain about headaches and feeling tired all the time. The truth is, hearing loss can be exhausting. Your brain goes into overdrive, frantically trying to piece together incomplete sentences and missing words.
Tinnitus is when you hear a ringing, buzzing, or chirping sound in your ears that’s not really there. Many frustrated patients come to me for treatment because this condition is really upsetting their daily lives. Very often, tinnitus is a symptom of hearing loss, especially if your hearing loss is due to prolonged exposure to loud noises.
If you are concerned that you might have a hearing loss, don’t hesitate to give me a call. A hearing test is the first step to determining whether or not you have a hearing loss. I will work with you to create a personalized hearing management plan so you can continue to get the most out of your hearing and out of life.