Hearing loss comes in many forms – it might develop gradually (for example, due to aging) or suddenly (as the result of an injury or trauma). The hearing loss itself may be transient or permanent, and may vary from mild (having difficulty understanding conversations) to severe (complete deafness). Either a single ear can be affected by hearing loss, or both ears.
You will find many signs and symptoms associated with hearing loss, one of the most common of which is a growing inability to hear or understand conversations. You may perceive other’s voices as if they were speaking too softly or are too far away to be heard correctly, or their voices may seem to be muffled and indistinct. You might 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 environments with lots of background noise.
Various other usual 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 not being able to differentiate sounds like ‘th’ and ‘s’ from one another. If you feel pain, tenderness, or itching in your ears, have instances of dizziness or vertigo, or hear a constant buzzing or ringing sound, these symptoms may also be indicators of hearing loss.
Because it may arise gradually, many people with hearing impairment don’t realize it. This can occasionally lead to habits or behaviors intended to hide their hearing loss from others. Examples of these kinds of signs include having to ask people to repeat themselves frequently, avoiding discussions and social situations, pretending to have heard stuff that you really didn’t, and emotions of isolation or depression.
If you have encountered any of these signs or symptoms, make an appointment with one of our specialists. They can give you a hearing test to determine whether you have experienced hearing loss, and if so, can help you to do something about it.