What are Some Signs of Hearing Loss?

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  • Written By: Amy Hunter
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2018
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Hearing loss is a frustrating and frightening condition that many people will suffer at some point of their life. The symptoms of hearing loss may occur gradually or suddenly, depending on what led to the loss. If you recognize the early symptoms of hearing problems, you can receive treatment before the loss becomes profound.

For many people, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing problems is difficulty understanding others during conversation. This symptom can be particularly noticeable if you are trying to conduct a conversation in an area such as a restaurant or bar, where there is background noise. One of the first parts of hearing lost is the ability to distinguish the difference between a voice you are concentrating on and the radio, other conversations or other noises.

Hearing others' voices as muffled is another sign of a developing hearing problem. While some people do mumble and are difficult to understand, if you feel like everyone is muttering, it is probably you and not them. Muffled voices occur because damage to the inner ear prevents the sound waves from moving efficiently into the back of the ear.


Hearing problems develop gradually, so it is not unusual to lose quite a bit of your hearing before you notice something is wrong. If you find that you are constantly asking others to repeat themselves or speak slower or louder, there is a good chance that you are suffering from some degree of hearing loss. Constantly turning up the volume of the television and radio is another sign that your hearing may be impaired.

Hearing loss occurs for a variety of reasons. Often a combination of factors leads to hearing problems. There is a genetic component to hearing loss. The other major factor in hearing loss is exposure to loud noises. The damage to your hearing from loud noises is cumulative and irreversible. A lifetime of exposure to loud noise, whether from attending multiple rock concerts or working in a noisy environment, will eventually lead to hearing loss.

Being diagnosed with hearing problems can be frightening. Some people resist visiting an audiologist because the thought of wearing hearing aids is intimidating. Technology in hearing aids has improved a great deal in the past decades. Modern hearing aids amplify noise and direct it into the ear canal. It does take some time to become accustomed to hearing aids, but once you complete the transition, you will find your quality of life improves tremendously.



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