Common Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Common Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

  • Jun 11, 2021


Are you concerned you or a loved one is facing hearing problems? Hearing loss symptoms depend on the hearing loss one has, as well as the severity. For example, someone with mild hearing loss in both ears experiences sound differently than a person with profound hearing loss in one ear.


What Are the General Symptoms of Hearing Loss?

There are several indicators adults may not be hearing as well as they used to. Those facing hearing loss may experience one or a few of the following scenarios:


  • Friends and family say you turn the television at an exceptionally loud volume
  • You struggle to understand speech, particularly in noisy environments or against background noise
  • You are frequently unsure where sound is coming from, known as localization
  • A sense that you can hear but cannot understand
  • Avoidance of specific social settings or withdrawal from conversations


Hearing loss is defined as one of three types: Conductive (involving outer or middle ear), sensorineural (involving inner ear), and mixed (a combination of the two).


Hearing Loss from Inner Ear or Nerve Damage

The most widespread type of hearing loss is sensorineural, caused by damage to the delicate hair cells in the inner ear or nerve pathways that deliver sound to the brain. Roughly 90% of those with hearing loss have sensorineural hearing loss, and it has a wide range of causes.

Sensorineural hearing loss is typically gradual. Both how loudly and how clearly you perceive sound are affected. Those with sensorineural hearing loss may also experience a phenomenon regarded as recruitment, which causes loud sounds to be uncomfortable to listen to, such as fireworks or live music. Some may struggle to hear low-pitched and high-pitched sounds, while others may struggle with one range. Additionally, one ear may hear better than the other.


Symptoms of high-frequency hearing loss

Among the most common types of sensorineural hearing loss is high-frequency hearing loss. Many who have presbycusis, an age-related hearing loss, develop this. It results in the impacted ability to hear birds chirping, beeping sounds, children’s voices, and certain consonant sounds.


Symptoms of Conductive Hearing Loss

Around 10% of those with hearing loss have what’s called conductive hearing loss, meaning their outer or middle ear is not working normally. Causes can range from severe earwax blockage to head trauma.

When it occurs in adults, conductive hearing loss tends to develop faster than sensorineural hearing loss, and depending on the cause, may be reversible. Symptoms are similar to that of general hearing loss symptoms, only at a more rapid rate. Pain, pressure, and even a strange odor in your ears are other signifiers of a condition that leads to conductive hearing loss.


Prominent Risk Factors

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