8 Signs of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is common among many individuals, and always has been. Particularly for seniors, total or partial loss of hearing can stem from a wide variety of reasons. Hearing loss generally occurs gradually, due to steady deterioration of the inner ear, or even a buildup of earwax. Deterioration and damage to the inner ear can occur from prolonged exposure, through a person’s lifespan, to loud noises. Aging can even play a large part in the steady decline of inner ear functionality.

There are many signs and symptoms of hearing loss, not just the obvious inability to hear sound. Many people experience sound as muffled, or develop sensitivity to it. Others will notice a ringing in their ears. There are psychological factors that go hand in hand with loss of hearing as well, such as feeling isolated from peers, nervousness towards conversation, and the need for frequent repetition. Many seniors feel that they do not need a hearing aid or other type of hearing improvement, but these can make a world of difference, not only counteracting the symptoms but also playing a positive role in one’s social and family life. Especially when hearing loss is gradual and less noticeable, seeing a specialist for a hearing aid may not seem justified; however, the aid can make a night and day difference.

1. Inability to Hear Sound

The inability to hear sound is, of course, the most obvious of all of the signs and symptoms of hearing loss. Again, this is often a very gradual process, and may take a while for some to notice that there is any decline at all. Often, particularly for seniors, one will not notice that his or her hearing has deescalated, but will find they are more frequently asking those around them to repeat themselves. It is common to deny that the hearing loss is occurring; for example, one may even notice having to use a higher volume on the television, but insist that the set itself is getting older.

While hearing loss can be incredibly frustrating, it happens to nearly the majority of the population. For seniors age 55 to 64, this loss of hearing can occur in approximately 25% of people. Past the age of 65, the number increases to about 50% of seniors. Even if it is not noticed right away because the change is so gradual, the inability to hear as well as in previous years can be very maddening. Noticing that the volume dial has seemingly been turned down on life will be more noticeable for some than others; however, the other symptoms that go along with hearing loss may mean it’s time to see a specialist. While hearing loss typically can’t be reversed, decreased hearing and the other symptoms below can be treated and improved.