Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Hearing Loss is usually a gradual change in hearing sensitivity
over a period of years. Because it occurs so slowly, it often
times goes undetected until later in life.
The following is a list of common signs of hearing
- Difficulty hearing in noisy situations
- Ringing in the ears (Tinnitus)
- Asking people to repeat themselves
- You can hear but can't always understand the words
- Need to have TV turned up louder than normal
Family or friends may notice that you are having difficulty
hearing before you do. Talk to them about how they think you are
hearing and then ask them to join you for a hearing test.
A sudden change in hearing can occur due to exposure to a loud
sound or a medical emergency. If you experience a sudden change
in hearing, see an Audiologist as soon as possible.
Types of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be caused by a number of factors. The
most common types of hearing loss are:
Sensorineural - Also known as "nerve damage",
this type of hearing loss is a permanent condition. Hearing
aids are frequently recommended for this type of hearing loss.
Conductive - This type of loss is usually a
temporary condition but can be permanent in some medical
conditions. Referral to an ear specialist is advised with this
type of hearing loss.
Mixed - This is a combination of Sensorineural
and Conductive hearing loss that may indicate a medical
condition. Referral to an ear specialist is also advised with
this type of hearing loss.
Severity Ranges of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is categorized by the degree, or severity,
of the hearing loss. Hearing is measured in decibels (dB) and the
smaller the number the better the hearing.
Normal - 0-25 dB…Can hear in all normal
Mild - 25-40 dB…May have trouble hearing soft
Moderate - 40-70 dB…May have difficulty
hearing some things
Severe - 70-90 dB…Will have difficulty hearing
Profound - 90 dB +…Significant impairment in
Hearing loss is also categorized by the frequency that is
affected. Low, medium, and high pitched tones are measured and
are then labeled by severity. For example, most people with
hearing loss have normal hearing in the low pitch tones, mild or
moderate loss in the mid pitch tones, and a moderate or severe
loss in the high pitch tones.
Personal Impact of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can cause concern in the personal well-being
of an individual. Common concerns include:
- Poor interpersonal relationships with family
- Inability to compensate for the hearing loss
- Discrimination or negative attitudes from other people
- Increase in anger and frustration
- Increase in depression and other depressive symptoms
- Reduced emotional stability
- Increase in introverted behavior
- Avoidance of social situations]
- Increased paranoid feelings
- Decreased in overall health