Hearing loss may appear in many forms, and may appear either suddenly, as the result of injury or trauma, or gradually, as the result of the aging process. Hearing loss may range between mild instances of not being able to hear conversations properly to severe periods of being unable to hear at all, and may be either temporary or permanent. Either a single ear may be affected by hearing loss, or both ears.
There are many signs and symptoms linked to hearing loss, one of the more common of which is a growing inability to hear or understand conversations. You might perceive other people’s voices as if they were speaking very softly or are too far away to be heard correctly, or their voices may appear to be muffled and indistinct. Alternatively, you might be able to hear people talking but discover that you are having trouble differentiating individual words; this could become more noticeable when multiple people are speaking simultaneously, or when you are in busy rooms.
Other signs that you may have some hearing loss include turning up the volume on your TV or radio much higher than in the past, not being able to distinguish certain high-pitched sounds (such as ‘s’ or ‘th’) 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 experience a constant ringing or humming in the ears, feel pain, tenderness or itching in the ears, and if you have instances of dizziness or vertigo.
Because it may arise gradually, many people with hearing impairment don’t realize it. This can occasionally lead to habits or behaviors intended to hide their hearing loss from others. 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 stuff that you really didn’t, and feelings of isolation or depression.
If you have experienced any of these signs or symptoms, make an appointment with one of our specialists. They can give you a hearing test to determine if you have indeed experienced hearing loss, and if so, can help you do something about it.