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Be on the lookout: Signs of hearing loss

Supporting your hearing health shouldn't be a mystery. It's time to skip the guessing game and get some answers. Once you know what to look for, you'll be even more empowered to find the solution that's best for you.
Reading the signs

Catching hearing loss early

Because it can be subtle, hearing loss can go unnoticed for quite a while. It comes on gradually over time, disguising itself as little inconveniences along the way. But there are certain signs you can look out for that are clear indicators your hearing health may be under pressure. The good news? Once you've identified them, you've already taken the first step to finding a solution.

If any of the following scenarios jump out at you, it may be time to head to your local HearUSA center for an appointment with a Hearing Care Professional.
  • 1
    A conversation with one person is difficult enough. Add a few more voices to the mix and you're in for a tiring and straining night.
  • 5
    Why is everyone mumbling all the time? It feels like no one speaks clearly these days.
  • 2
    What's the point of talking on the phone if the person on the other line sounds miles away, literally.
  • 6
    Clearly hearing the softer, higher pitch of a woman or child's voice? Not a chance.
  • 3
    A crowded restaurant? No way. You can't understand the person at your table with all that background noise.
  • 7
    “Can you repeat that,” has become your daily catchphrase.
  • 4
    The volume button on your TV remote has begun to fade from overuse.
Ready to make these scenarios simple scenes from the past? Our complimentary online hearing screening is the next best step.
Online hearing test
Hearing loss causes

Understanding the source

If you recognize the signs of hearing loss in your everyday life, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Millions of Americans live with some kind of hearing loss, many of which have sought treatment and are back to feeling like themselves again. So, how can you get there, too? The first step is to understand the source of the problem. Learn about the causes of hearing loss to better determine the best course of action.
Learn about causes
Treating hearing loss

Nip the problem in the bud

Treatment will depend on what is causing your hearing loss. If it’s a simple infection or build-up of earwax, your healthy hearing can be restored immediately and easily. But it’s important to have your hearing checked annually so that you can nip the problem in the bud. Even with mild hearing loss, your brain is being taxed and working overtime. Hearing aids and devices can help prevent more serious hearing loss (and the accompanying symptoms of depression and withdrawal from society). In other words, hearing aids are mood boosters. Who wouldn’t want that?
Learn about treatment

Signs of hearing loss: FAQ

At what age does hearing loss begin to take place?

Hearing loss can take place as early as 35 to 45 years of age, especially if you work in a noisy environment. Learn more about age-related hearing loss here: /hearing-loss/age-related-hearing-loss/
Learn about age-related hearing loss

Can tinnitus be the first symptom of hearing loss?

Yes. That ringing in your ears is a signal to get your annual hearing check-up. Tinnitus can also be caused by an issue with your diet, so don’t waste time wondering and go see your doctor. 

Can you suddenly become deaf?

Sudden hearing loss can be an indication of Meniere's disease (a disruption of the fluid balance in the inner ear), autoimmune inner ear disease (when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues of your inner ear), or a tumor on the hearing nerve (acoustic neuroma).

How do you know if you are losing your hearing?

One of the first signs of hearing loss includes difficulty making out what people are saying. It may sound like their speech seems swallowed and they’re not finishing their words. Learn more about the signs of hearing loss here: /en-us/hearing-loss/signs/

What are the stages of hearing loss?

From mild to severe, hearing loss is gradual and wearing hearing aids can prevent collateral loss of other brain functions, such as short-term memory, so it’s essential to get it checked out as soon as possible.

What can cause sudden hearing loss in both ears?

Most cases of “sudden” hearing loss are viral and patients are usually treated with steroids. Patients with mild degrees of hearing loss can recover 100% of their hearing. The diagnosis of bilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss may also be caused by trauma, autoimmune inner ear disease, meningitis, syphilis, HIV, or certain drugs (such as ibuprofen or medication to treat cancer). The most common viruses that can cause hearing loss include measles, Varicella-Zoster Virus (the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles), and the mumps. 

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