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Hearing loss has various forms – it might occur gradually (for example, due to aging) or all of a sudden (due to an injury or trauma). The hearing loss itself can be short-term or permanent, and can vary from mild (having trouble understanding conversations) to severe (complete deafness). A single ear can be affected by hearing impairment, or both ears.

There are also a number of signs and symptoms associated with hearing loss, one of the more common of which is a growing difficulty hearing or understanding conversations. People’s voices might seem to be at too low a volume (as if the speakers were far away), or sound muffled . Or alternatively, you might be able to hear folks speaking but discover that you’re having trouble differentiating individual words; this could become more noticeable when several people are speaking, or when you are in busy locations.

Various other usual symptoms of hearing loss include increasing the volume on your television or radio, having more difficulty hearing men’s voices than women’s, and being unable to differentiate sounds like ‘s’ and ‘th’ from one another. If you experience pain, tenderness, or itching in your ears, have periods of vertigo or dizziness, or hear a persistent buzzing or ringing sound, these symptoms can also be indications of hearing loss.

Because it generally arises gradually, many people with hearing loss are not aware of it. Or they might notice it but display “denial behaviors” to try to disguise or conceal their hearing loss from other people. For instance, people trying to conceal hearing loss may ask other people to repeat themselves often, can tend to avoid conversations and social interaction, fake having heard things they really didn’t, and over time may develop feelings of isolation and depression.

If you have experienced any of these signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists. They can give you a hearing test to figure out if you have experienced hearing loss, and if so, can help you do something about it.