IMAGINE dining in a busy restaurant. In the background, there are dishes clattering, chairs scraping, people talking and laughing, and waiters rushing about. You are straining to follow what is happening at your table, and the effort of doing this is starting to make you feel more tired. Eventually, you start pretending you can hear. You nod, look interested and laugh with the crowd even though you didn’t get the jokes. You begin to feel left out. When you leave the restaurant, you have a throbbing headache, disappointment and no plans to repeat the experience anytime soon.If this sounds familiar, it may be time you had your hearing tested.If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, you might have a hearing loss.• Do you find that people around you mumble or speak softly?• Do you find conversations in restaurants or crowded places difficult to follow?• Do you often have to turn up the volume on your TV, radio or phone?• Do friends and family complain that they have to repeat what they say to you?• Do you have to look at people’s faces in order to be able to understand what they are saying?• Have you noticed that everyday sounds, like the twittering of birds, footsteps or the clock ticking have gone? — Farhana Khan, audiologist.