Hearing loss can be mild or severe and can occur in one or both ears. It can also cause difficulty understanding words, especially when background noise is present.
There are many reasons to get hearing tests done. Hearing loss is not just a problem for older people. It can occur at any age and affect both men and women. You may have a hearing problem if you have difficulty understanding what others are saying, even when they speak clearly in quiet surroundings or when they face you directly. You may also have trouble hearing high-frequency sounds like “s”s, “f”s, “th”s and “sh”s. Hearing problems may affect your ability to communicate with others in person or over the phone.
A hearing test can check your hearing and determine how well your ears are working. The results will help to identify any problems and will provide information about whether you need treatment or not.
Hearing loss can be a symptom of other conditions such as an ear infection or earwax build up in the ear canal, which may require treatment by a doctor.
Hearing loss can happen because of a variety of causes, including:
Aging. The natural aging process affects all parts of the body, including the ears. Many older people have some degree of hearing loss.
Genetics. Some people are born with a tendency toward hearing loss from birth, while others develop it later in life due to genetics or illnesses during childhood, such as mumps or measles (both of which can lead to ear infections).
Infections or illness. Infections in the ear such as bacterial meningitis or measles can cause hearing loss if left untreated.
Trauma or injury to the ear canal from an accident can also cause temporary or permanent hearing damage if not treated quickly enough after the injury occurs (which is why wearing protective gear when playing contact sports is so important).
You are having trouble understanding what people say. You don’t hear people well on the phone or when they talk behind you or in a noisy place like a restaurant or bar. You have difficulty understanding what people are saying on TV or radio programs and films especially when there is background noise such as music or traffic sounds going on around you at the same time as voices on screen. You find yourself turning up the volume on the TV or radio in order to hear properly. You have noticed that people often repeat themselves because they think that maybe you didn’t hear them the first time around and this happens frequently.