Hearing loss has various forms – it might develop gradually (for example, due to aging) or all of a sudden (due to an injury or trauma). Hearing loss may range between mild instances of not hearing conversations correctly to extreme periods of being unable to hear at all, and can be either permanent or temporary. Either a single ear may be affected by hearing loss, or both ears.
The most frequently reported symptom of hearing loss is progressively struggling to hear and comprehend conversations properly. People’s voices might seem to be at low volume (as if the speakers were a long way away), or sound muffled . Alternatively, you might be able to hear people talking but notice that you are having difficulty distinguishing individual words; this could become more evident when several people are speaking, or when you are in busy locations.
Some other signs that you may have suffered 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 differentiate 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 problems may be indicated if you notice a persistent ringing or humming in the ears, if you feel pain, tenderness or itching in the ears, and if you experience episodes of vertigo or dizziness.
Because it generally arises gradually, many people with hearing impairment don’t realize it. This can sometimes lead to habits or behaviors designed to hide their hearing loss from others. For instance, people attempting to conceal hearing loss may ask others to repeat themselves often, can tend to avoid conversations and social interaction, pretend to have heard things they really didn’t, and over time may develop feelings of isolation and depression.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, make an appointment with one of our specialists. We can help by starting with a hearing test to see if you do have hearing loss, and if you have, we can help determine exactly what to do about it.