What would the world be like without sound? All of us can imagine to some extent what it would be like to be blind – we simply have to shut our eyes.
It’s much more difficult to imagine being unable to hear speech or music or the dawn chorus, or even the clatter when you drop a pan or your own ‘ouch’ when you stub a toe.
There may be sounds that you would rather not hear – the throbbing music leaking from a fellow passenger’s headphones, the road drill outside your office window, the car alarm that goes off at two o’clock in the morning, your nextdoor neighbour’s lawnmower disturbing a lazy summer afternoon in the garden… yet wouldn’t it feel strange if you couldn’t hear them?
Follow on for our self-test questionnaire to find out if you have a hearing problem.
Do you have difficulty hearing or following what is being said in the following situations?
- Listening to the television when the volume is adjusted to suit someone else.
- Talking on the telephone.
- Having a conversation with someone in a busy place, such as a street, shop or restaurant. Having a conversation with several people in a group.
- Listening to someone against a background noise, such as a whirring fan or running water. Having a conversation when you can’t see the other person’s face full on.
- Talking to women or children – even though you can hold conversations with men without any difficulty.
Do you often:
- Ask people to repeat what they’ve said?
- Misunderstand what people say?
- Agree or nod even when you’re not sure what’s been said?
- Feel that other people mumble when they talk?
- Turn up the radio or television to a volume that others say is too loud?
- Have to watch other people’s facial expressions or lip movements to understand what they say?