Hearing loss can take many forms, and may occur either suddenly, due to injury or trauma, or gradually, due to aging. Hearing loss may range between mild instances of not hearing conversations correctly to severe periods of being unable to hear at all, and may be either temporary or permanent. Moreover, a person can experience a loss of hearing in either one ear or both ears.
The most frequently noted symptom of hearing loss is gradually becoming unable to hear and comprehend conversations correctly. People’s voices might seem to be at low volume or sound muffled (as if the speakers were speaking through a wall from another room). Or alternatively, you might be able to hear folks talking but discover that you are having difficulty distinguishing individual words; this may become more pronounced when multiple people are speaking, or when you are in busy locations.
Other signs that you may have suffered some hearing loss include turning up the volume on your radio or television much higher than in the past, being unable to distinguish certain high-pitched sounds (such as ‘th’ or ‘s’) from one another, and having greater difficulty hearing women’s voices than men’s voices. Other types of hearing problems may be indicated if you notice a constant ringing or humming in the ears, if you feel pain, irritation or itching in the ears, and if you have instances of vertigo or dizziness.
Because it may arise gradually, many people with hearing impairment don’t realize it. Or they may recognize it but exhibit “denial behaviors” to try to disguise or conceal their hearing loss from others. Examples of these types of signs include asking people to repeat themselves often, avoiding discussions and social situations, pretending to have heard things that you really didn’t, and feelings of isolation or depression.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, make an appointment with one of our specialists. They will give you a hearing test to determine if you have indeed experienced hearing loss, and if so, can help you do something about it.