Hearing loss often referred to clinically as presbycusis, is quite common. Approximately one-third of those aged 65 to 75 and living in the U.S. experience some type of hearing loss. For individuals 75-plus, that number hits one in two people.
Hearing loss can be defined into three categories:
Sensorineural (involving the inner ear
Conductive (involving the middle or outer ear)
Mixed (a combination of conductive and sensorineural)
Continued (chronic) exposure to loud noises, as well as age, can create some wear and tear on nerve cells or the hairs within your ear, and contribute to hearing loss. Added causes include excessive earwax, damage to your inner ear, abnormal tumors or growths, a prolonged ear infection, or a ruptured eardrum; all of which can temporarily decrease how well the ears can hear a sound. Sadly, in most cases, hearing loss cannot be reversed, but there are ways a hearing specialist or doctor can enhance hearing and help a patient.
It’s important to note that if you experience sudden hearing loss, especially in one ear, it’s vital to reach out to your doctor for a checkup. Hearing loss can interfere with a person’s day-to-day routine and schedule, and it’s important to look into ways to seek treatment. Alternative, hearing loss that is age-related can occur gradually, so it may be difficult to notice the change at first.
Below are 10 common symptoms around hearing loss.
One key symptom that many hearing loss patients complain about is muffled speech or sound. The definition of a “muffle” is something that sounds quieter than it is, and for those who suffer from hearing loss, speaking with others may sound as if a scarf is wrapped around the mouth of the person who is talking to you. This “muffling” may occur with other sounds in and around your environment, and while noises may sound adequate (or even loud) to others, those with hearing loss may not find that they sound “quieter” than the average person.