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
If you have a sudden loss of hearing, particularly in one ear, seek immediate medical attention.
Talk to your doctor if difficulty hearing is interfering with your daily life. Your hearing may have deteriorated if:
Sept. 03, 2015
- 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
- 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 July 1, 2015.
- Age-related hearing loss. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/Pages/Age-Related-Hearing-Loss.aspx. Accessed July 2, 2015.
- Longo DL, et al. Disorders of hearing. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2015. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed July 1, 2015.
- Common sounds. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/education/teachers/pages/common_sounds.aspx. Accessed July 2, 2015.
- Noise and hearing loss prevention: Noise meter. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise/noisemeter.html. Accessed July 2, 2015.
- Occupational noise exposure. Occupational Safety & Health Administration. https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=standards&p_id=9735. Accessed July 2, 2015.
- Weber PC. Evaluation of hearing loss in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 1, 2015.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 22, 2015.