Because hearing loss can occur so gradually, most individuals with difficulty hearing aren’t even aware of the problem until someone brings it to their attention. This is especially the case for sensorinueral hearing loss, which can involve both presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss as well as noise-induced hearing loss caused by a noisy work environment or recreational activities.
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear is no longer processing sounds correctly, especially high frequency sounds like women’s or children’s voices. The presence of background noise makes it much more difficult to hear conversation clearly.
A conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is prevented or blocked from entering the ear canal. Excess ear wax or a physical blockage of the ear canal can cause conductive hearing loss to occur.
Signs of hearing loss include:
- Do people seem to mumble when conversing with you?
- Do you frequently request that people repeat themselves?
- Do you routinely experience difficulty following a conversation? Can you hear the sounds, but not understand the speech?
- Do you consciously avoid situations because you feel isolated and embarrassed when involved in social interaction?
- Do you require the television or radio to be played at higher volume than usual?
- A history of hearing loss is present in your family.
If you’re experiencing any or all of the symptoms of hearing loss, please contact your local All American Hearing Center to schedule a Baseline Hearing Screening to determine the nature and extent of your hearing difficulty.