The chances of hearing loss occurring increase dramatically as a person ages. Experts estimate that around one in three people between the ages of 65-75 has some form of hearing loss, most often presbycusis.

The problem for many is that age-related hearing loss tends to occur over a long period. It’s often hard to notice the changes from day to day, but the cumulative effect can be dramatic.

The following are the top symptoms of hearing loss.

Speech sounds muffled

If you’re listening to somebody talk and they sound muffled, then it could be a sign of age-related hearing loss. Muffled speech can occur for all kinds of reasons, includes blockages in the ear canal, certain medications, and physical trauma, so if things sound muffled to you, don’t conclude that your hearing loss is because you’re getting old. Speak to your audiologist to find out more.

Avoiding social settings

Many people with hearing loss develop a habit of avoiding certain social situations. It can be difficult to ask friends and family to repeat themselves regularly, and so many people with hearing loss choose to avoid social occasions altogether. Avoiding social settings, however, can lead to isolation and depression, which is why dealing with hearing loss is so important.

Withdrawing from conversations

If you have hearing loss, it’s often difficult to engage in regular conversation. If you can only hear fragments of the conversation, it’s hard to keep up. Hearing aids can help you to stay in the conversation and enjoy interactions with the people around you. By increasing the volume of sound reaching your ear, hearing aids provide you with an excellent tool for re-engaging with friends and family and getting the most out of your social relationships.

Asking others to speak more slowly

People suffering from hearing loss often have to ask the people around them to change the way they speak. Speaking more slowly allows a person with hearing loss to pick up more of the individual words being spoken.

A person with hearing loss may also ask people to “speak up” or “speak more clearly.” Under normal circumstances, people will speak with an appropriate volume. But for people with hearing loss, others appear to talk too quietly. The problem, however, may not be with the volume with which they speak, but the ability of your ears to pick up the sound.

Turning the volume up on the radio or television

One of the great things about listening to media devices, such as the TV or radio is that they allow you to gauge your hearing against a constant volume. For instance, if you used to set the TV volume to 30 but now you have to listen to it at 40, then it’s a good sign that your hearing might not be as good as it once was.

Difficulty hearing consonants

Vowel sounds are generally quite easy to listen to, but consonants can be tricky, especially if you’re suffering from hearing loss. Again, hearing aids can help pick up on consonant sounds, enabling you to join in with conversations at home or work.