Getting your hearing checked
Hearing loss can develop at any time.
Sudden changes in hearing are usually quite obvious, however, many hearing problems develop slowly over time and other people may be aware of a your hearing difficulties before you are. If you answer YES to one or more of the following you should be assessed by an Audiologist. Do you often need to ask people to repeat what they have said? Do you typically have trouble understanding a conversation or mishear people in a group or in the presence of background noise? Does it seem that people are regularly not speaking clearly or are ‘mumbling’? When watching television do you need to set the volume higher than other people to hear comfortably? Do you become frustrated or even totally avoid some social occasions because there is too much noise or you cannot keep up with the conversation? Can you become tired or stressed after you have been listening or in a conversation for an extended time period? Do you find you need to be close to the speaker at meetings, seminars, restaurants or in religious services to understand? Do you need to maintain eye contact or see people’s faces to understand what they are saying? Do you find it difficult to localize where sounds are coming from? Have your family or friends questioned whether you have a hearing problem? Audiologists who are members of the New Zealand Audiological Society (MNZAS) are specialists at diagnosing hearing problems and the non-medical treatment of hearing loss. Treatment options include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, counselling and education in listening skills. For more information visit www.audiology.org.nz or talk to your doctor who can suggest a suitable audiologist.