Hearing loss has various forms – it may develop gradually (for example, due to aging) or all of a sudden (as the result of an injury or trauma). Hearing loss may range from mild instances of not being able to hear conversations properly to extreme periods of being unable to hear at all, and may be either temporary or permanent. A single ear may be affected by hearing impairment, or both ears.
You will find a number of symptoms linked to hearing loss, one of the most common of which is a growing difficulty hearing or understanding conversations. People’s voices may seem to be at low volume or sound muffled (as if they were speaking through a wall coming from another room). You may be able to hear folks speaking, but be unable to distinguish specific words, especially if multiple people are speaking or the conversations are taking place in environments with lots of background noise.
Some other indications that you may have sustained some hearing loss include turning up the volume on your TV or radio much higher than you did in the past, not being able to differentiate certain high-pitched sounds (such as ‘s’ or ‘th’) from one another, and having more difficulty hearing women’s voices than men’s voices. If you feel pain, irritation, or itching in your ears, have instances of dizziness or vertigo, or hear a constant buzzing or ringing sound, these symptoms can also be indicators of hearing loss.
Because it may arise gradually, many people with hearing impairment don’t realize it. Or they may notice it but exhibit “denial behaviors” to try to hide or conceal their hearing loss from others. For example, people attempting to hide hearing loss may ask other people to repeat themselves often, are likely to avoid conversations and social gatherings, fake having heard things they really didn’t, and over time can develop feelings of isolation and 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 indeed experienced hearing loss, and if so, can help you do something about it.