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Since hearing loss is gradual, it’s not always obvious when your hearing changes, but there are signs that you can look out for to recognize problems. Learn the signs and address your hearing loss by booking a free hearing test.

Book a free hearing test

  • senior man looking confused

    1. People seem to be mumbling

    Have you noticed that people in your life are mumbling more? When you have hearing loss, it limits your ability to hear certain sounds. This means that rather than hearing complete words and sentences, you may hear a muddling of incomplete noises. Depending on your hearing loss, it may be more noticeable when talking with women or children, whose voices are softer, higher-pitched or more difficult to hear.

    Book a free hearing test

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    2. You can’t hear in restaurants

    Is it hard for you to follow conversations when you eat in restaurants? When you suffer from hearing loss, background noises, such as clanking dishes and other conversations, tend to make it extremely difficult to focus on an individual voice and to hold a conversation. You may also find the same is true in other noisy settings, such as parties, cafes or outdoors.

    Online hearing test

  • woman at home drinking coffee

    3. You avoid social gatherings

    Difficulty hearing in certain settings or situations may make you tend to avoid them. This is actually common in people with untreated hearing loss. Parties or social gatherings become less fun when it’s a struggle to follow conversations. It may be difficult to hear over music or competing voices. You may find yourself sitting out of certain conversations or ducking out of events early in frustration, boredom or after misunderstanding.

    Consequences of untreated hearing loss

  • woman confused trying to have a conversation with a man

    4. Conversations are exhausting

    If you find yourself exhausted after conversations, it may be because you have hearing loss. When you have trouble hearing, it takes a greater cognitive effort to hear. This can leave you feeling mentally fatigued. Your level of exhaustion may be exacerbated on days when you need to concentrate - such as at conferences or ceremonies - or in settings where it’s difficult to hear - like restaurants or malls.

    Treating hearing loss

  • man having difficulty hearing on the telephone

    5. You can’t hear on the telephone

    Is it harder to hear on the phone? Do you find that you want to use the highest volume on your cell phone? Phone conversations - particularly on our mobile devices - can be tricky for all of us. Poor reception and background noise sometimes make it necessary to fill in gaps in the conversation. When you have normal hearing, you may find it challenging, but with hearing loss, it is even harder. As a result, voices may seem muffled and nearly impossible to understand.

    See the different types of hearing loss

  • man turning up the volume while watching tv with his wife

    6. Television is a struggle

    When your hearing worsens, it can be hard to enjoy television or movies the way you used to. You may find that dialogue is difficult to make out, while background noises or commercials are intolerably loud. Scenes where actors face away from the screen, whisper, are in the dark or are drowned out by other noises may be impossible to make sense of without closed captions. You may find that you turn up the volume so loudly that people complain in the next room. Going to the movies is even worse, as you can’t adjust the vol-ume, and people around you can disturb you when they get up or talk to one another.

    Know more about the causes of hearing loss

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    7. You can’t hear your grandchildren

    Hearing a grandchild’s first words and everything they have to say thereafter is one of life’s greatest gifts. But for people with hearing loss, the sound of children’s voices can be the most difficult to hear. Children tend to have high-pitched voices and are prone to speaking softly, mumbling or mispronouncing words. They’re also less likely to repeat themselves if you haven’t heard properly the first time. If you have trouble hearing, it may hinder your ability to converse with and ultimately connect with your grandchildren.

    Know how to help loved ones with hearing loss

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    8. Your relationships are strained

    Not hearing at your best can be frustrating—both for yourself as well as your family and friends, and it can manifest itself in many ways. It can leave your loved ones feeling annoyed by the need to repeat themselves, or they may even feel ignored. You may feel that your loved ones are increasingly annoyed or upset with you. You may even feel like you’re often being yelled at. If you’ve noticed tension lately, it might be time to consider whether your hearing is the culprit.

    Here's how hearing loss affects social behaviour

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    9. Your ears feel clogged

    Hearing loss can feel like clogged ears. Noises are muffled and unclear. It may feel like there’s something preventing you from hearing correctly. If you’ve been examined by a doctor and there’s no evidence of a blockage or infection, it could be hearing loss. The same goes for tinnitus - or ringing of the ears. While not itself a form of hearing loss, tinnitus is often one of the first signs of a hearing loss and something which you should certainly be addressing.

    Know the different types of hearing loss

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    10. You’re not yourself

    You may be feeling down, distracted or bored in conversations. Maybe you’re even experiencing difficulty balancing, or you’re falling more. Perhaps you’ve stopped socializing as much, or you don’t feel as sharp as you normally do. While it may not seem obvious, all these issues are actually linked to untreated hearing loss. Poor hearing can keep you from feeling like yourself, and it’s definitely worth your while to find out if this is the case for you.

    Treating hearing loss

The 52 benefits of better hearing

Untreated hearing loss can impact your quality of life.  Learn 52 reasons to do something about it. Take the first step today by booking a free hearing test at a location near you.

Complete the form to download your own copy of 52 Benefits of Better Hearing.


  • Many people are unaware that they have hearing loss. Because hearing loss worsens gradually, we tend to learn to compensate, making it difficult to notice we even have an issue.

  • So how do you know if it’s time to get your hearing addressed? We’ve created an online hearing test that can give you an indi-cation of how well you’re hearing, using background noise, tone tests and self-evaluation questions.

  • The online test should not replace a hearing test performed by our hearing professionals, but it can help verify if you have hearing loss and guide you to the appropriate next steps.

The journey to better hearing might be easier than you think