How Do I Know if I Have a Hearing Problem?

Advanced Hearing Care—Improving your Quality of Life. Potomac Audiology: 240-477-1010

How Do I Know if I Have a Hearing Problem?

Hearing loss can occur at any age. Hearing loss affects 2-3 out of every 1,000 children born in the United States. Hearing loss happens to many people as they age. Hearing loss can be due to the aging process alone or in combination with any of the following: exposure to loud noise, certain medications, infections, head or ear trauma, congenital (birth or prenatal) or hereditary factors, diseases, as well as a number of other causes. Approximately 15% of American adults 18 years of age and older report some trouble hearing with more than 25% of those 65 and older reporting disabling hearing loss. (Reference:


You may have hearing loss if:

  • You hear people speaking but you have to strain to understand their words.
  • You frequently ask people to repeat what they said.
  • You don’t laugh at jokes because you miss too much of the story or the punch line.
  • You frequently complain that people mumble.
  • You need to ask others about the details of a meeting you just attended.
  • You play the TV or radio louder than your friends, spouse and relatives.
  • You cannot hear the doorbell or the telephone.
  • You find that looking at people when they speak to you makes it easier to understand

If you have any of these symptoms, you should see an audiologist to get an “audiological evaluation” or hearing test. An audiological evaluation is the term used to describe a diagnostic hearing test, performed by a licensed audiologist. An audiological evaluation is not just pressing the button when you hear a “beep.” Rather, an audiological evaluation allows the audiologist to determine the type and degree of your hearing loss, and it tells the audiologist how well or how poorly you understand speech, especially speech in noise. After all, speech is the single most important sound, and the ability to understand speech is extremely important. The audiological evaluation also includes a thorough case history (interview) as well as visual inspection of the ear canals and eardrum. The results of the audiological evaluation will help direct the management and treatment of your hearing loss which may include referral to a physician if the audiologist suspects the hearing loss may be treated with medical or surgical alternatives.


Take the Hearing Handicap Inventory

Take a few moments to print out and complete the Hearing Handicap Inventory which will help you to better understand your hearing loss and the impact of the hearing loss on your daily communication activities.   These results will also help us to better manage your treatment plan. Click here.