Hearing loss can take many forms, and can appear either suddenly, due to injury or trauma, or gradually, due to the aging process. The hearing loss itself can be transient or permanent, and can range from mild (having difficulty understanding casual conversation) to severe (total deafness). Either a single ear can be affected by hearing impairment, or both ears.
Probably the most often reported symptom of hearing loss is gradually becoming unable to hear and understand conversations correctly. People’s voices might seem to be at too low a volume (as if the speakers were a long way away), or sound muffled . You may be able to hear folks speaking, but not be able to differentiate specific words, particularly when multiple people are speaking or the conversations are in environments with a lot of background noise.
Some 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 in the past, being unable to distinguish certain high-pitched sounds (such as ‘s’ or ‘th’) from one another, and having greater difficulty hearing men’s voices than women’s voices. If you feel pain, tenderness, or itching in your ears, have periods of vertigo or dizziness, or hear a constant buzzing or ringing sound, these symptoms may also be indications of hearing loss.
One of the problems with hearing loss is that it may appear so gradually that people may not even 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 having to ask people to repeat themselves often, avoiding conversations and social situations, acting as if you’ve heard things 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 determine what to do about it.