Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Couple discusses symptoms of hearing loss.

Hearing loss isn't always obvious. In fact, many people often dismiss the symptoms of hearing loss. The lack of awareness around signs of hearing loss means a television turned up to high levels is more likely to be defined as a bad habit or rudeness instead of a hearing loss symptom. This happens at home, work, and in school--where a teacher may misunderstand why a child asks to have something repeated. So what are the symptoms of hearing loss and how can you recognize them?

  • Tinnitus: Tinnitus is not a condition in and of itself, but a symptom of an underlying problem. This ringing or buzzing in the ears can be high pitched, intermittent or constant. It is sometimes accompanied by vertigo and is often a symptom of hearing loss.
  • Repeating: Asking to have things repeated often can be a symptom of hearing loss. Don’t dismiss the possibility, because you only ask for repetition during certain situations—on the cell phone, when speaking to a female, or a child. These are all symptoms of higher level hearing loss.
  • Volume: Does your spouse accuse you of not paying attention or of turning up the volume on the television too loud? Your spouse might think you are being rude, but in actuality this can be a symptom of hearing loss.
  • Inability to Hear Female or Child Voices: Females and children speak in a higher register, so one of the first symptoms of hearing loss that is often dismissed is the inability to hear these higher pitched voices. If you consistently feel that women or children are mumbling around you, this is a warning sign you need to see your audiologist.
  • Depression: According to Dr. Claudia Dewane in her article Hearing Loss in Older Adults--Its Effect on Mental Health, "Hearing loss can create a psychological solitary confinement." This confinement can lead to feelings of depression that are quite often misconstrued, so that the cause--hearing loss, is not even recognized.
  • Isolation and Social Anxiety: Difficulty hearing in crowds or an inability to decipher what is being said are two reasons that people suffering from hearing loss tend to isolate themselves. They are anxious about responding inappropriately or looking "out of touch." Often people don’t pursue these feelings, assuming they are emotional, but in fact they can be symptoms of discomfort in communicating with others due to hearing loss. Note: Hearing loss is more pronounced in social situations where there is an increase in background noise.
  • Some Sounds Seem too Loud: This may seem contrary to hearing loss, but this phenomena is due to the fact that other parts of hearing, different registers like high-pitched frequencies, are missing. Therefore when a register that is not missing travels to the ears, an individual with hearing loss is startled by the sound.
  • A typical and endearing story about hearing loss symptoms and getting new hearing aids can be seen below!

    If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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