Hearing loss may appear in many forms, and can occur suddenly, as the result of injury or trauma, or over time, due to the aging process. The hearing loss itself can be temporary or permanent, and may vary from mild (having difficulty understanding conversations) to severe (complete deafness). On top of that, a person may suffer a loss of hearing in a single ear or both ears.
There are also 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 experience other’s voices as if they were speaking too softly or are too distant to be heard properly, or their voices may appear to be muffled and indistinct. You might be able to hear folks speaking, but be unable to differentiate specific words, particularly when multiple people are speaking or the conversations are in settings with lots of background noise.
Other common symptoms of hearing loss include increasing the volume on your television or radio, having more difficulty hearing women’s voices than men’s, and not being able to tell sounds like ‘th’ and ‘s’ from one another. Other types of hearing problems may be indicated if you experience a persistent ringing in the ears, if you feel pain, irritation or itching in the ears, and if you experience episodes of dizziness or vertigo.
Because it can occur gradually, many people with hearing impairment are not aware of it. Or they might recognize it but display “denial behaviors” in an attempt to hide or conceal their hearing loss from other people. Examples of these kinds of symptoms include having to ask people to repeat themselves frequently, avoiding dialogues and social situations, acting as if you’ve heard things that you really didn’t, and emotions of isolation or depression.
If these symptoms sound familiar to you, it’s time to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing specialists. They will give you a hearing test to determine if you have indeed experienced hearing loss, and if so, can help you to do something about it.