How to Identify Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss may develop gradually as you age. However, it may also occur from accidents and contributing medical conditions or diseases. Two types of hearing loss are typically seen by physicians; conductive and sensorineural. Conductive hearing loss is caused by factors that prohibit or block sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the auditory nerves or cells within the inner ear. This type of hearing loss is typical of aging adults. Hearing loss may also be experienced through damage to the bones of the middle ear, which transmit and carry sounds, or damage to the cranial nerves that transmit sounds from the ear to the brain. Understanding hearing loss and how to identify symptoms of hearing loss may help to prevent deafness.


    • 1

      Watch for signs or indications that infants or toddlers may have hearing difficulties. These may be observed when infants or toddlers don't react to loud noises or the sound of your voice. Signs of hearing loss may be observed in older individuals when they consistently ask for sentences or comments to be repeated. Another clue is their need to turn up the volume of the television or radio.

    • 2

      Pay attention to signs that an individual may be having difficulty understanding or tracking conversations in social environments. Speaking on the phone becomes increasingly difficult, for those on either end. Small children often have speaking difficulties that make it difficult to understand them. These difficulties may cause children to appear inattentive or unable to communicate in simple dialog.

    • 3

      Hearing loss often causes a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears. This ringing in the ears is often accompanied by feelings of dizziness or loss of balance. Observe small children for signs of instability or situations where balance or coordination is not what it should be.

    • 4

      Watch children for signs of pain in the ears. Small children will often clamp their hands over their ears, or cry incessantly when suffering from ear pain. They often tug at their ears or swipe at them. These are indications that something in the ear is causing pain or distress. In such situations, schedule a visit with your pediatrician.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hearing loss may be prevented in many cases through regular physical checkups. Risks of hearing loss increase with exposure to loud noises, viral infections and buildup of fluids or wax in the ears.

  • At the first signs of hearing loss, schedule a visit with your physician in order to initiate prompt treatment that may prevent complications or further hearing loss.

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