More than 10% of Canadians have hearing impairments. However, for many people, hearing loss is hardly noticed – it takes place gradually over time and is usually identified first by family or friends.
The first step is to recognize the signs of hearing loss. If you think you have a hearing impairment, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you often ask others to repeat what they say?
- Do friends and family express concern about your hearing?
- Does background noise often make conversations difficult?
- Do others find the TV or radio is turned up too loud?
- Do you have a history of noise exposure?
- Do you have ringing or buzzing in your ears?
If you or a family member have a suspected hearing loss, seek an audiological evaluation to determine the type, degree, and cause of the hearing impairment. You can make an appointment to see an audiologist at Cobourg Hearing Centre yourself or your primary care physician can refer you directly. Insurance companies recognize that only 20% of all individuals with hearing loss require medical or surgical treatment for their hearing loss, but they require a full audiological evaluation before they will consider funding rehabilitative services. Rehabilitation treatment consists primarily of design, selection and fitting of hearing aids and/or assistive listening devices. These services are provided directly by our audiologists at Cobourg Hearing Centre.
Although each person may experience symptoms of hearing loss differently, some of the most common symptoms may include:
- Inability to hear people clearly and fully. People may seem to mumble and those experiencing hearing loss may not hear all parts of a conversation. For instance, someone with hearing loss may miss the essence of a story or punch line of a joke that someone just told.
- Frequent requests for repetition or clarification.
- Tendency to need to stare at people when they are talking in order to make it easier to understand what they are saying.
- Fatigue at the end of the day from straining to hear.
- Avoidance of social situations because of difficulty following conversations in noisy environments.
- Tendency to bluff when not hearing someone because of the fear of asking them to repeat themselves.