Hearing loss is normal as you age, but like going gray, the change rarely occurs overnight. The beginning of age-related hearing loss can be just as subtle, and like any other medical condition, the sooner you address the issue, the better. Since the hearing loss is gradual, it isn’t always evident when your hearing declines. Luckily, there are signs that you can look out for to recognize the issue. Here are eight common signs that you could have hearing loss.

1. Difficulty following conversation

Hard of Hearing

Your ability to process multiple competing and incoming signals decline over time, so getting lost in conversation occasionally is normal. However, if you are at a restaurant eating with family or at a work meeting and frequently have difficulty keeping up with the conversation, you might have hearing loss. If you suffer from hearing loss, background noises, including clanking dishes, make it extremely hard to focus on the other person’s voice and hold a conversation.

2. Being exhausted after social events

If you can’t hear all speech sounds, your brain has to close the gap to make sense of what others are saying. This can take a troll off your focus, especially when more than one person is speaking at a time, which may leave you exhausted after a social event. If you are experiencing this, consult your doctor or an audiologist at HearCanada. Professionally fitted hearing aids could alleviate the strain.

3. Phone conversations are unclear

Phones are equipped with a volume setting, so you may not have trouble hearing your co-worker, friend, or client since you may amp your phone to the maximum. However, if you constantly hear like you cannot hear the other person on the phone, whether using a cell or landline phone, this could be a sign of hearing loss.

4. Difficulty hearing women’s and children’s voices

Hearing a grandchild’s words and everything they say afterward is one of the greatest gifts in life. However, a woman’s or child’s voice may be harder to hear for people with hearing loss. Children and women tend to have high-pitched voices and have a habit of speaking softly, mispronouncing words, or mumbling. They are also less likely to repeat themselves if you haven’t heard them properly for the first time. Having difficulty hearing might hinder your ability to speak with and connect with your wife or grandchildren.

How to prevent hearing loss

5. Turning up the TV too loud

It might be difficult to enjoy TV programs, or movies like you used to when you have hearing loss. You might find dialogue hard to follow, while commercials breaks or background noises are intolerably loud. Scenes where actors whisper, turn away from the screen, or are in the dark or drowned out by other noises might not make sense without a closed caption.

Turning up your television louder doesn’t always help make the sound clear. If you constantly need to turn your TV up so loud that it’s unbearable for others in the house, or if your neighbor can hear it, it’s time to get a hearing test.

6. Avoiding social gatherings

Trouble hearing in certain situations or settings can make you want to avoid them. This is particularly common with people with untreated hearing loss. Social events you once enjoyed become less fun if it’s difficult to follow conversations. It might be hard to hear over music or competing voices. Unfortunately, you may feel left out of conversations, which might make you decide it’s easier to decline invitations and stay at home.

7. Misunderstanding what people say

Misunderstanding people can be shameful, and it usually arises from the start of high-frequency hearing loss that affects your ability to discern speech sounds. This type of hearing loss is called sensorineural hearing loss and is usually due to old age or exposure to loud noise.

8. Ears feeling clogged

Hearing difficulties

Hearing loss may manifest as clogged ears. Noises are muffled and unclear, and it may feel like something is preventing you from hearing properly. If you have been examined by an audiologist and there is no evidence of infection or blockage, you could have hearing loss. The same goes for ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. Ringing in the ears is usually thought to be a sign of hearing loss or damage to the auditory system, and it’s something that should be addressed as soon as possible if you have it.


Hearing loss happens gradually, and it might be difficult to recognize when your hearing starts to decline. However, getting a basic hearing test is essential if you frequently notice more than a few of these signs or other typical hearing loss symptoms. The testing is easy and painless, so act and call an audiologist or doctor near you.

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