Hearing loss may appear in many forms, and may appear suddenly, as the result of injuries or trauma, or over time, as the result of aging. The hearing loss itself may be transient or permanent, and can vary from mild (having difficulty understanding casual conversation) to severe (complete deafness). On top of that, a person can experience a loss of hearing in either a single ear or both ears.
Probably the most commonly noted symptom of hearing loss is gradually becoming unable to hear and understand conversations correctly. You might perceive other people’s voices as if they were speaking too softly or are too far away to be heard properly, or their voices may appear to be muffled and indistinct. Alternatively, you might be able to hear people talking but discover that you are having difficulty distinguishing individual words; this could become more pronounced when multiple people are speaking simultaneously, or when you are in busy rooms.
Other indications that you may have suffered some hearing loss include having to turn up the volume on your TV or radio much higher than you did in the past, being unable to distinguish certain high-pitched sounds (such as ‘s’ or ‘th’) from one another, and having more difficulty hearing women’s voices than men’s voices. If you have pain, tenderness, or itching in your ears, have periods of vertigo or dizziness, or hear a persistent buzzing or ringing sound, these symptoms can also be indications of hearing loss.
Because it may arise gradually, many people with hearing impairment don’t realize it. This can occasionally lead to habits or behaviors designed to hide their hearing loss from other people. Examples of these types of signs include asking people to repeat themselves frequently, avoiding dialogues and social situations, pretending to have heard stuff that you really didn’t, and feelings of isolation or depression.
If you have experienced any of these signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists. We can help by administering tests to see if you do have hearing loss, and if you have, we can help figure out what to do about it.