Hearing loss has many forms – it may occur gradually (for example, due to aging) or suddenly (as the result of an injury or trauma). The hearing loss itself may be short-term or permanent, and may range from mild (having difficulty understanding casual conversation) to severe (total deafness). Moreover, a person might suffer a loss of hearing in a single ear or both ears.
Probably the most commonly reported symptom of hearing loss is progressively struggling to hear and understand conversations properly. People’s voices might seem to be at too low a volume or sound muffled . Or alternatively, you might be able to hear folks speaking but discover that you’re having difficulty differentiating individual words; this may become more pronounced when several people are speaking, or when you are in noisy rooms.
Various other common signs of hearing loss include having to increase the volume on your television or radio, having more difficulty hearing women’s voices than men’s, and being unable to differentiate sounds such as ‘th’ and ‘s’ from one another. Other types of hearing loss may be indicated if you have a constant ringing in the ears, if you feel pain, tenderness or itching in the ears, and if you have episodes of dizziness or vertigo.
One of the difficulties with hearing loss is that it may appear so gradually that people may not even realize it. This can sometimes lead to actions or behaviors intended to hide their hearing loss from others. Examples of these kinds of symptoms include having to ask people to repeat themselves often, avoiding dialogues and social situations, pretending to have heard things that you really didn’t, and emotions of depression or isolation.
If any of these signs and symptoms sound familiar to you, it is time to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing specialists. We can help by administering tests to see if you do have hearing loss, and if you have, we can help determine what to do about it.