Hearing loss develops gradually, almost imperceptibly. Unlike other sensory impairments – e.g. degenerated sight – a reduced sense of hearing is not perceived instantaneously; it may go unnoticed for many years.
Not only are signs and symptoms of hearing loss very subtle; they are also manifold and often differ from person to person. Reasons for concern may include the following:
- Asking people to repeat themselves more often than usual
- Increasing the volume of the TV and radio regardless of loved ones’ volume preference
- Having the impression that everyone mumbles
- Having the impression that certain voices, especially those of children or women, are more difficult to understand
- Straining to follow conversations and getting tired because of the extra listening effort
- Avoiding social gatherings and losing interest in activities that were once enjoyable