As with many afflictions, to give yourself the best chance of combating a problem and dealing with it is to know the initial, early signs from the off.
Noticing you have a problem with your hearing is no different and knowing what the tell tale signs that your hearing is diminishing will allow you to get a hearing test booked sooner and start treatment quicker.
The first main sign that your hearing may be starting to decline is that you will struggle to hear conversations properly when you are speaking within a group or where there is any background noise.
Another noticeable part of suffering with hearing loss is that you may start to have difficulty understanding the higher pitched voices synonymous with women and children.
These include higher pitched consonants like 'f', 'k', 'p', 's', 'sh', and 't' because some, if not all, of these may start to become out of your hearing range.
Also in general conversation with friends or family you may start to notice that they have commented on their need to raise voices or repeat phrases when talking to you.
Similarly you may feel that people are mumbling and not speaking clearly when, in fact, it is more because your hearing is less than perfect. Having to concentrate extra hard to follow a conversation is also a noticeable symptom of hearing loss.
Even when away from friends or family you can still look out for signs that your hearing may be diminishing. Take the day-to-day activity of watching TV or listening to the radio for example.
If you are increasingly having to turn up the volume then this is a sign you should have your hearing looked into.
Getting your hearing checked out early will allow you to get the diagnosis quicker and set about sorting your hearing and improving your quality of life.
There really isn't any point in struggling on when it's so quick and simple to get yourself looked at by a friendly, reassuring professional.
For further information on how to help a loved one cope with hearing loss, have a look at our information guide.