Identifying and understanding symptoms of hearing loss

Hearing loss manifests in many different ways. The degree and severity of your hearing loss determine the symptoms you will experience and the appropriate treatments to resolve them. The most common forms of hearing loss are sensorineural, conductive, and mixed.

Is hearing loss affecting your relationships and general wellness? We’ve laid out different symptoms of hearing loss to help you identify and understand your condition.

If you have any questions regarding your hearing loss, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Associated Audiologists.

Understanding sensorineural hearing loss

The most common form of hearing loss is sensorineural hearing loss. It occurs when the inner ear becomes damaged and fails to transmit signals to the brain. The damage can be caused by prolonged exposure to excessive noise, a virus, medications, and head trauma.

The symptoms of sensorineural hearing loss will often come on gradually, making it important to monitor your symptoms as soon as they are present. The most common symptoms people experience are:

  • The inability to clearly understanding words and conversation, despite a normal speaking volume
  • Listening to the television and music at excessively loud volumes
  • Perception of individuals mumbling instead of speaking
  • Inability to hear faint sounds
  • Trouble hearing clearly in backgrounds of noise such as restaurants or groups

Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent, but symptoms can be managed with hearing aids and hearing assistive technology.

Symptoms of conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss is the result of sound being improperly conducted through the outer ear to the eardrum and middle ear. This type of hearing loss can be caused by excessive earwax production, middle ear infection, a hole in the eardrum, inflammation of the middle ear, and/or head trauma.

The symptoms of conductive hearing loss include:

  • Reduction of sound intensity
  • Inability to hear faint sounds
  • Frequent requests for repetition and clarification during conversations
  • Better hearing in one ear than the other
  • Routinely turning up the volume on the television and radio
  • A feeling of being plugged up or a feeling of pressure

Depending on the severity of conductive hearing loss, the symptoms can be treated with medical or surgical intervention.

Symptoms of mixed hearing loss

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Experiencing both forms of hearing loss means there is damage to the outer and inner ear.

The symptoms vary from mild to severe hearing loss and reflect similar symptoms seen in both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. The most common symptoms of mixed hearing loss include:

  • Inability to understand speech when background noise is present
  • Difficulty understanding speech, even at heightened volumes
  • Asking individuals to repeat themselves in conversation
  • Reduced hearing in one or both ears

Depending upon the situation, some individuals with mixed hearing loss find audiological, medical, and/or surgical treatment beneficial. A combination of hearing aids and medical management may be implemented to remedy the symptoms of mixed hearing loss.

Are your symptoms of hearing loss affecting your day-to-day life or livelihood? Associated Audiologists has doctoral-level audiologists who can help. Contact us today to talk about your treatment options and how we can treat your hearing loss.