Action on Hearing Loss tinnitus simulation Audio
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Plus, ignoring a hearing issue could lead to feelings of loneliness and it is associated with cognitive dysfunction, including dementia. Katie Ogden, the training manager of ReSound North-West Europe, pointed out the signs. “Everyone can mishear things from time to time and need them repeated,” said Katie. “But if you or your loved one are constantly asking for things to be repeated, or muttering the phrase ‘what did you say?’, this could be a sign you’re lacking the sounds and signals needed to process speech properly.”
Katie added: “Those struggling with hearing loss often complain that people aren’t speaking clearly or are mumbling.
“This can be due to people with hearing loss not being able to hear high-pitched speech frequencies.”
People might be able to distinguish vowels, which are the “sound[s] of the word”.
However, the consonants can be missed thereby losing the “clarity and meaning of the word”.
As such, people experiencing hearing loss may feel as though they can hear the sound of a word, or sentence, but not fully understand what is being said.
Difficulty with phone conversations is another warning sign that someone could benefit from hearing aids.
Katie pointed out: “Television shows with fast-paced dialogue, or a substantial amount of background noise, can be hard for those with hearing loss to follow.
“Crucial dialogue can often be drowned out, leading to people listening to the TV at a much higher volume.”
If someone is watching TV at an “uncomfortable” level of sound for others, the perpetrator would benefit from a hearing assessment.
For those who would feel more comfortable doing a hearing test at home, rather than going to an audiologist, ReSound offers a free online hearing test.
Katie said that people experiencing hearing loss “often become quieter, or can appear to become withdrawn in social situations”.
“This can be due to that person being frustrated they may not be able to hear properly, or from feeling self-conscious or embarrassed that they will have to ask others to repeat themselves,” Katie elaborated.
Another warning sign is feeling drained and exhausted after conversing with other people.
“When a person isn’t hearing all of the sounds of speech, the brain then has to fill in any gaps to help make sense of what people are saying,” Katie explained.
“This requires a lot of extra focus and makes the brain work even harder to process what is going on in a busy situation, leading to extreme tiredness afterwards.”
Katie highlighted that treating hearing loss can improve a person’s health and social relationships.
“If you recognise a number of these signs in your loved one, it’s time to seek the help of a professional audiologist,” Katie recommended.
While ReSound UK offers a free online hearing test, it is still advisable to seek a medical diagnosis by booking an appointment with an audiologist.
You can book an appointment with an audiologist in Boots and/or Specsavers.
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