Hearing loss comes in many forms – it might occur gradually (for example, due to aging) or suddenly (as the result of an injury or trauma). Hearing loss may range between mild episodes of not hearing conversations properly to extreme periods of being unable to hear at all, and may be either permanent or temporary. Also, a person may suffer a loss of hearing in a single ear or both ears.
You will find a number of symptoms associated with hearing loss, one of the more common of which is a growing inability to hear or understand conversations. You may experience other people’s voices as if they were speaking very softly or are too distant to be heard correctly, or their voices may seem to be muffled and indistinct. You might be able to hear folks talking, but not be able to distinguish specific words, especially if more than one person is speaking or the conversations are in environments with a lot of background noise.
Other indications that you may have sustained some hearing loss include turning up the volume on your radio or television much higher than you did in the past, not being able to distinguish certain high-pitched sounds (such as ‘th’ or ‘s’) from one another, and having more difficulty hearing women’s voices than men’s voices. Other forms of hearing loss may be indicated if you notice a constant ringing in the ears, feel pain, irritation or itching in the ears, and if you have instances of vertigo or dizziness.
One of the challenges with hearing loss is that it may arise so gradually that people are themselves not aware of it. This can occasionally lead to actions or behaviors designed to hide their hearing loss from other people. Examples of these types of symptoms include asking people to repeat themselves often, avoiding conversations and social situations, pretending to have heard stuff that you really didn’t, and emotions of depression or isolation.
If these signs and symptoms sound familiar to you, it is time to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing specialists. They can give you a hearing test to determine whether you have experienced hearing loss, and if so, can help you to find a solution.