A friend has asked you if you had problems understanding your conversation. You are not sure whether it’s your hearing or just him mumbling. Learn which symptoms hint to hearing problems and find out how to detect signs of hearing loss in adults and children.
How to detect a hearing loss
Sometimes our hearing doesn't work the way it should. Hearing loss can affect one ear or both ears, can have many different causes and become noticeable in multiple ways.
Signs of hearing loss include
- The volume of your radio or TV is loud.
- People talking to you seem to mumble.
- Misunderstandings because you didn’t hear properly.
- Problems understanding consonants, especially high-pitched ones such as: t, p, s, f, sh
- Difficulties understanding speech, especially when there is background noise. Even with a mild to moderate hearing loss you might have problems understanding conversations and frequently have to ask people to repeat themselves.
- Difficulties understanding over the telephone. You often have to ask your conversation partner on the other end to speak up or to speak clearly.
- Avoiding conversations, especially in noisy surroundings or larger groups.
- Withdrawal from social activities
Signs of hearing loss in children
How do you know if your child has problems hearing? Children who have not yet learned to speak cannot tell if somebody is mumbling nor that they find it difficult to understand speech. It’s the parents or caretakers who usually detect signs of hearing loss first:
- Your child’s speech and language is developing slowly and is not age-appropriate.
- Your child’s speech is slurred, unclear and monotonous
- Your child does not react to loud sounds, does not wake up, is not startled from unusually loud noise Your child does not imitate sounds
- Your child talks and plays loudly
- Your child does not react when you talk to them/ call them
- Your child shows inappropriate reactions or gives inappropriate answers
- Your child needs the volume of the radio or TV set higher
- Your child withdraws from social activities and interaction with other children
It is important to recognise hearing problems in children early and do something about them. Take a quick hearing check with your child. If your child shows one or more symptoms, see an ENT specialist as soon as possible.