Hearing loss or hearing impairment refers to a condition of a person’s total or partial inability to hear sounds. It is of 4 types – mild hearing loss, moderate hearing loss, severe hearing loss, and profound hearing loss.
A person with mild hearing loss might have a problem in understanding speech, while the person with moderate hearing loss may need a hearing aid.
People with severe hearing loss rely on lip reading to communicate with others. People who have profound hearing loss can’t hear anything at all.
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Symptoms and Signs of Hearing Loss
The symptoms and signs of hearing loss vary in different factors. These are:
General Signs of Hearing Loss
Some generals signs of hearing loss include:
- Difficulty in hearing people clearly and misunderstanding in what they, especially in noisy places.
- Asking people for repeating their sentence.
- Watching TV or listening to music in a higher volume.
- Difficulty in hearing a voice on the phone.
- Keeping up with a conversation becoming hard.
- Getting tired or stressed from having to concentrate while listening to anything.
- Feeling like people are mumbling to you
- Difficulty in hearing someone who is calling you from behind or from another room.
- Difficulty in communicating even in a small group of people like in a meeting.
- You might no longer hear your watch ticking, birds singing or water running.
- Difficulty in hearing the telephone or doorbell ringing
The above problems are usually caused by hearing loss that might happen due to age factor. This is permanent but treatment like hearing aids might help. There are various listening assistive devices available like TV hearing devices which help you hear better.
Signs of Hearing Loss in 1 Ear
It is a complicated situation if you are having a hearing loss in one ear because you might still be able to hear with the other ear and you may not feel any kind of problem in this.
Signs of Hearing loss in 1 Ear include:
- When sound comes from one side, your hearing is worse.
- All type of sounds seems quieter than usual
- Difficulty in finding, from where the sound is coming
- Difficulty in ignoring background noise or telling different sounds apart
- Finding the speech unclear
- Difficulty in hearing over a long distance or in noisy places
Hearing loss in 1 year is usually caused by the sound that is temporarily being unable to pass through the ear. This can cause either by ear wax or an ear infection.
Signs of Hearing Loss in Children
Your children might have a problem with their hearing if they:
- Are very slow in learning to talk or are not clear while speaking
- Don’t reply when you call
- Talk very loudly
- Respond inappropriately to questions that you ask or ask you to repeat yourself
- Listen to TV in higher volume than usual
If you found any of the above signs in your children than contact your GP (General Practitioner) immediately.
Signs of Hearing Loss in Babies
Almost every baby has a hearing check in the first few weeks after birth, but if you still think there might be a problem with the hearing of your child then you should contact your GP.
Your baby might have a problem in the ear if he/she:
- Is not scared by loud noises
- Seem to hear some of the sounds but not the others
- Notice you after seeing you, not when you call his/her name
- Did not turn towards voices by 4 months of age
- Have not started to say any recognizable word till the age of 15 months.
When to See a Doctor
If you or your children suspect any problem in the ear than contacting your GP as soon as possible is the best solution. Following are more situations in which you should contact your GP:
- If you or your child suddenly lost hearing
- If you think you or your child’s hearing is getting worse day by day
- If you found your infant is irritated and gets his hand near his ear many times.
- If an ear pain continues more than 2 days even after taking medication
- If any infection keeps coming back
Your GP will ask about your symptoms and will look inside your ear through a small handheld torch attached to a magnifying lens. If needed, they can also refer you to an Audiologist.