Hearing loss can take many forms, and may occur suddenly, as the result of injuries or trauma, or over time, as the result of the aging process. The experience of hearing loss may range from mild instances of not being able to hear conversations properly to severe periods of total deafness, and may be either permanent or temporary. Either a single ear may be affected by hearing impairment, or both ears.
You will find many signs and symptoms associated with hearing loss, one of the more common of which is a growing inability to hear or understand conversations. You might experience other people’s voices as if they were speaking very softly or are too far away to be heard properly, or their voices may appear to be muffled and indistinct. You might be able to hear people speaking, but be unable to differentiate specific words, particularly when more than one person is speaking or the conversations are in settings with lots of background noise.
Various other common signs of hearing loss include increasing the volume on your TV or radio, having more difficulty hearing men’s voices than women’s, and being unable to tell sounds like ‘s’ and ‘th’ from one another. If you feel pain, tenderness, or itching in your ears, have periods of vertigo or dizziness, or hear a constant buzzing or ringing sound, these symptoms may also be indications of hearing loss.
Because it generally arises gradually, many people with hearing loss don’t realize it. This can sometimes lead to actions or behaviors designed to hide their hearing loss from others. Examples of these kinds of symptoms include asking people to repeat themselves frequently, avoiding dialogues and social situations, acting as if you’ve heard things that you really didn’t, and feelings 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 if you have experienced hearing loss, and if so, can help you find a solution.