Hearing loss may appear in many forms, and may occur either suddenly, as the result of injury or trauma, or gradually, due to aging. The hearing loss itself can be short-term or permanent, and can range from mild (having trouble understanding conversations) to severe (complete deafness). Moreover, a person can experience a loss of hearing in a single ear or both ears.
Probably the most often reported symptom of hearing loss is progressively becoming unable to hear and understand conversations properly. People’s speaking voices might seem to be at too low a volume (as if the speakers were far away), or sound muffled . You may be able to hear folks speaking, but not be able to differentiate specific words, especially if more than one person is speaking or the conversations are taking place in settings with a lot of background noise.
Other usual symptoms of hearing loss include having to increase the volume on your TV or radio, having a harder time hearing men’s voices than women’s, and the inability to differentiate sounds like ‘s’ and ‘th’ from one another. Other types of hearing loss may be indicated if you notice a constant ringing or humming in the ears, 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 arise so gradually that people are themselves not aware of it. This can sometimes lead to actions or behaviors intended to hide their hearing loss from others. For example, people attempting to conceal hearing loss may ask others to repeat themselves frequently, can tend to avoid conversations and social gatherings, fake having heard things they really didn’t, and over time can develop feelings of isolation and depression.
If any of these signs and symptoms sound familiar to you, it’s time to make an appointment with one of our hearing specialists. They will give you a hearing test to determine whether you have indeed experienced hearing loss, and if so, can help you to do something about it.