Hearing loss is a degenerative condition that can occur gradually through prolonged exposure to loud noises, genetics, as a side effect of other chronic medical conditions, or through presbycusis (age related hearing loss).
There are three types of hearing loss.
- Conductive occurs in the outer or middle ear.
- Sensorineural occurs in the inner ear.
- Mixed is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
Along with other factors, excessive earwax can also temporarily reduce how well your ears receive sounds.
Hearing Loss has distinct symptoms. If you’re concerned that you or your loved ones might be experiencing hearing loss, take note of these 10 common symptoms:
- Muffled speech and other sounds.
- Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds like doorbells, ringing telephones, alarm clocks, etc.
- Difficulty understanding conversations in noisy places like a stadium or restaurant.
- Having trouble recognizing speech during phone conversations.
- Trouble understanding the difference between s and f, between p and t, or between sh and th in conversations (consonants)
- Requesting those you’re conversing with to speak more slowly and clearly.
- Asking someone to speak louder or constantly asking someone to repeat what they said.
- Listening to the television or radio at high volumes in order to hear them.
- Constant ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
- Hypersensitivity to sounds (certain sounds are annoying or cause ear pain).
Unfortunately, most hearing loss can’t be reversed, but it can be treated to prevent further loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should call your regular physician to set up a baseline hearing exam. Or you can reach out to a hearing care specialist in your area to schedule a more comprehensive exam. Learn more about the providers in your area.