Signs and symptoms of hearing loss may include:
- Muffling of speech and other sounds
- Difficulty understanding words, especially against background noise or in a crowd of people
- Trouble hearing consonants
- Frequently asking others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly
- Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio
- Withdrawal from conversations
- Avoidance of some social settings
When to see a doctor
Talk to your doctor if difficulty hearing is interfering with your daily life. Your hearing may have deteriorated if:
Sept. 05, 2014
- You find that it's harder to understand everything that's said in conversation, especially when there's background noise
- Sounds seem muffled
- You find yourself having to turn the volume higher when you listen to music, the radio or television
- Presbycusis. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/presbycusis.aspx. Accessed May 24, 2014.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed May 28, 2014.
- Lasak JM, et al. Hearing loss: Diagnosis and management. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2014;41:19.
- Weber PC. Etiology of hearing loss in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 24, 2014.
- Common sounds. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/education/teachers/pages/common_sounds.aspx. Accessed May 26, 2014.
- Noise and hearing loss prevention: Noise meter. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise/noisemeter.html. Accessed May 28, 2014.
- Occupational noise exposure — 1910.95. Occupational Safety & Health Administration. https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=standards&p_id=9735. Accessed May 26, 2014.
- It's a noisy world we live in. How loud is too loud? American Tinnitus Association. http://www.ata.org/for-patients/how-loud-too-loud. Accessed May 24, 2014.
- Occupational noise exposure. Occupational Safety & Health Administration. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/noisehearingconservation/. Accessed May 28, 2014.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 10, 2014.