Hearing loss comes in many forms – it might develop gradually (for example, due to aging) or suddenly (due to an accident or trauma). The hearing loss itself may be temporary or permanent, and may vary from mild (having difficulty understanding conversations) to severe (total deafness). A single ear can be affected by hearing loss, or both ears.
You will find a number of symptoms associated with hearing loss, one of the most common of which is a growing difficulty hearing or understanding conversations. People’s speaking voices might seem to be at too low a volume or sound muffled . Or alternatively, you might be able to hear folks talking but discover that you are having trouble distinguishing individual words; this may become more noticeable when several people are speaking, or when you are in busy rooms.
Other signs that you may have 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 feel 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 generally arises gradually, many people with hearing impairment are not aware of it. This can occasionally lead to actions or behaviors designed to hide their hearing loss from other people. Examples of these kinds of symptoms include having to ask people to repeat themselves frequently, avoiding discussions and social situations, pretending to have heard things that you really didn’t, and emotions of isolation or depression.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists. They can give you a hearing test to figure out if you have experienced hearing loss, and if so, can help you to do something about it.