Most people lose their hearing gradually. They may not even notice that it’s happening.

Common signs of hearing loss

Difficulty Understanding Speech
  • Struggling to follow conversations, especially in noisy environments.
  • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves or speak more clearly.
Turning up the volume:
  • Needing to increase the volume on the TV, radio, or electronic devices to hear adequately.
  • Others may comment that the volume is too loud.
Muffled or Incomplete Sounds:
  • Sounds may seem muffled or distorted, making it challenging to understand words or music.
Loss of High-Pitched Sounds:
  • Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds like doorbells, alarms, birds singing, or children’s voices.
Misunderstandings and Frustration:
  • A classic complaint of people who have hearing loss is that others don’t speak clearly. If you find yourself thinking people are mumbling and hard to understand, that may be a symptom of hearing loss.
Difficulty on the Phone:
  • If you have trouble occasionally, that is OK. If you constantly feel like you cannot hear on the phone, whether you’re using a landline or mobile phone, this may be a symptom of hearing loss.
Avoiding Social Activities:
  • Withdrawing from social situations and activities due to difficulty hearing and communicating.
Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus):
  • Ringing in your ears is often thought to be a symptom of hearing loss or damage to the auditory system and hearing loss and tinnitus very often go hand in hand.

Why people ignore hearing loss

Frequently asked questions

Signs include difficulty understanding speech, turning up the volume on electronic devices, muffled sounds, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and avoiding social situations.

If you suspect hearing loss, consult with an audiologist for a comprehensive hearing evaluation. They can assess your hearing and provide guidance on any necessary interventions.

Some types of hearing loss, like noise-induced hearing loss, can be prevented by avoiding loud environments and using ear protection. Regular check-ups and early intervention for other causes may also help.

Causes vary and can include aging, exposure to loud noises, genetics, ear infections, medications, head injuries, and certain medical conditions.

Sensorineural hearing loss (the most common type) is typically permanent, but some cases of conductive hearing loss can be reversible with medical or surgical interventions.