Symptoms Of Hearing impairment: What You Need To Know!

by Dr. Beverly R. Johannsen

Hearing loss, also called hearing impairment, usually advances slowly and occurs in both ears. However, you may have sudden hearing loss and hearing loss in one ear. It is possible to ignore hearing loss until it affects your quality of life. So, being familiar with the symptoms of hearing impairment is essential.

Symptoms Of Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment can present in numerous forms and has a variety of causes, although it has a few different types. Symptoms can vary from a random problem in the following words to not being able to talk with others and loneliness according to the level of intensity of hearing impairment.

The usual symptoms of hearing impairment which you should not overlook are:

  • Switching on television or radio to a loud volume
  • Problem in understanding spoken words by others, particularly in very loud surroundings
  • Problem in hearing others when talking on the phone
  • Problem in understanding women's and children's spoken words
  • The impression that others are not speaking clearly
  • Frequently requesting others to repeat themselves
  • Not getting complete information about a conversation
  • Choosing to be lonely
  • Feeling tired after public gatherings
  • Decreased ability to perform tasks
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ears

Over time, hearing impairment can impact your mental wellbeing. Missing to hear important information or favorite sounds can cause anxiety, depression, and feeling left out.  It also increases the risk of accidental injuries, falls, and developing dementia.

There can be some variation in symptoms if you have any of these:

sudden hearing loss, hearing loss in one ear, high frequency or low-frequency hearing impairment, and temporary or permanent hearing impairment.

Sudden Hearing Loss

Sudden hearing loss occurs all of a sudden, is usually hearing loss of one ear, originating from your internal ear. It shows varying degrees of severity to total deafness. Sudden hearing loss can be due to a wide variety of causes such as conditions involving the structure of the ear, tumors, infections, toxicity of medicines, and severe systemic diseases. The systemic diseases can become emergencies such as very high blood pressure (hypertensive crisis) and stroke. Sudden hearing loss in medical emergencies is just an additional symptom that can occur along with the primary symptoms.

The symptoms of sudden hearing loss include:

  • Recurring sudden or fluctuating hearing loss
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ear
  • Vertigo
  • Accompanying symptoms such as repetitive, uncontrolled movement of eyes (nystagmus), headaches, defects in nervous system functioning such as tingling, numbness, problems in the articulation of speech and lack of coordination of muscle movements

Hearing Loss In One Ear

Hearing loss in one ear leads to hearing impairment in one of your ears. It can occur due to trauma to the ear, exposure to high volume noise, obstruction, tumor, or infection of the ear. The symptoms of hearing loss in one ear include:                         

  • Problem in localization of speech in the affected ear while you develop strategies to localize the sound in the good ear
  • Problem in speech recognition in noise or understanding speech in noise which can be affected by several variables including the speech stimulus (clearness of talking, number of words), noise stimulus (volume), location of the noise (front, behind), surroundings (room structure), listener characteristics (age, hearing loss) 

High-Frequency And Low-Frequency Hearing Impairment

In high-frequency hearing impairment, you frequently miss to hear sounds in the higher frequency range (2000-8000Hz) which include:

  • Female and young children’s voices
  • Particular consonant sounds such as, sh, f, v, th, f, p, making it difficult to understand some words
  • The turning signal of car
  • Beeping sounds on timers and microwave ovens
  • Songbirds                                                                                                   
Exposure to loud noise, aging, genetics, infections, and Meniere’s disease (condition of the inner ear) can cause high-frequency hearing impairment.

In low-frequency hearing impairment, you frequently miss to hear sounds in a lower frequency range (less than 2000Hz). Sounds in higher frequency ranges can be heard, and there is no problem in understanding speech. However, there is difficulty hearing in groups or a noisy place. Sudden hearing loss, Meniere's disease, viral infections, kidney failure, and changes in pressure in the ear can cause hearing impairment.

Temporary And Permanent Hearing Impairment

Temporary hearing impairment can continue for just a few hours or some days after which hearing comes back to normal. It is caused by exposure to loud noises such as in a concert, during gunshots, fireworks, or occupational exposure. Temporary hearing impairment consists of a temporary change in the hearing threshold and frequently occurs with tinnitus. The ears have difficulty in coming out from a temporary change in the hearing threshold at the end of each episode, and gradually your hearing impairment can become permanent.           

On the contrary, reversal of permanent hearing impairment is not possible and generally comprises damage to the auditory nerves or the tiny hair cells of the inner ear. The best solution for most permanent hearing impairments, is adequately fitted hearing aids. 

Do not wait until significant damage has been done to your hearing system if you are beginning to develop any of the mentioned symptoms. You must seek help promptly so that you maintain the quality of your life. Talk to your doctor about hearing impairment and get appropriate management. You can choose a hearing aid from our broad collection of products. Our team of experts is happy to help you in making a selection for your wellbeing.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.