What are the symptoms of hearing loss?



Because hearing loss is gradual, you may not be aware of its extent until someone else brings it to your attention. It may be difficult to accept this news, but it is important to realize that recognizing a hearing loss is the first step toward improving the quality of your life.

Often, higher pitched sounds, such as women and children's voices or birds singing are the first sounds that begin to "disappear."

Then the person may notice symptoms including:

  • Difficulty hearing in public gatherings such as concert halls, theaters, or houses of worship where sound sources are far away
  • Difficulty hearing television and/or the telephone
  • Difficulty understanding conversation in group settings
  • Misinterpreting what others say
  • Hearing noise ok, but not being able to understand speech; people seem to be "mumbling" when they are speaking

Hearing difficulties can be a source of embarrassment. Adults who experience them usually develop a variety of ways of coping in difficult listening situations, such as:

  • Constantly asking others to repeat themselves or speak louder
  • Turning the head to one side while listening to sounds or speaker
  • Turning up the TV, radio or stereo volume to a level that disturbs others
  • Avoiding social gatherings such as at restaurants or parties where background noise makes it difficult to understand conversation