Most people don't like to consider the idea that they may be losing their hearing and may need a hearing aid, but keep in mind that today's hearing aids are often very small and slim and not as noticeable as you might think. They're also a good way to ensure you can safely hear things around you such as sirens, alarms, and the like. Rather than put off getting a hearing test, consider having a conversation with your doctor about this if you have any of the following symptoms or notice any of these things happening in your life.
1. You hear words, but can't understand them
Many people assume that hearing loss means not being able to hear the volume of sounds around you, but sometimes you might struggle to hear the clarity of words and sounds. For instance, if someone introduces themselves, you might hear them say their name but can't understand if they said Chelsea, Casey, or Chesney. You might also hear someone tell you something very odd, such as instructions to "eat a frog," but then realize they were saying to "avoid the fog." Don't assume that volume or missing words and sounds entirely is the only reason to get a hearing aid, but consider if you're also missing the exact and clear pronunciation of words in this way as well.
2. Background sounds get very distracting
The ears can process several noises at once when they're working properly, but if you have hearing loss, your ears may only be able to process one type of auditory input. This can mean that you can't hear two people talking at once or can't hear someone talking when you hear music playing in the background. Your ears are only processing one type of sound while losing the other.
3. You can't hear what you used to be able to hear
Don't assume that your stereo speakers are failing or that TV commercials and programs are suddenly being played at a lower volume, or that your home no longer has birds outside like it once did. If you could hear all these things very easily at one time but now struggle to hear the TV or can't hear the birds singing, this often means it's your hearing that is failing, not the sounds around you. This can also apply to people speaking to you; don't assume they're suddenly mumbling or whispering, but get your hearing checked if you notice this sudden change in volume.