Hearing loss may appear in many forms, and can appear suddenly, due to injuries or trauma, or over time, due to the aging process. The hearing loss itself may be temporary or permanent, and can vary from mild (having trouble understanding casual conversation) to severe (total deafness). Either a single ear can be affected by hearing impairment, or both ears.
You will find a number of signs and symptoms linked to hearing loss, one of the most common of which is a growing inability to hear or understand conversations. You may perceive other people’s voices as if they were speaking too softly or are too far away to be heard properly, or their voices may seem to be muffled and indistinct. Or alternatively, you might be able to hear folks speaking but notice that you’re having trouble differentiating individual words; this could become more evident when several people are speaking simultaneously, or when you are in busy rooms.
Some other indications that you may have suffered some hearing loss include having to turn 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 ‘s’ or ‘th’) from one another, and having greater difficulty hearing men’s voices than women’s voices. If you experience 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 indicators of hearing loss.
Because it may arise gradually, many people with hearing loss don’t realize it. This can sometimes lead to habits or behaviors designed to hide their hearing loss from other people. Examples of these types of symptoms include having to ask people to repeat themselves frequently, avoiding conversations 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 symptoms, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists. They will give you a hearing test to determine whether you have indeed experienced hearing loss, and if so, can help you find a solution.