Speaking louder than necessary in a conversation; constantly asking for words to be repeated; straining to hear; misunderstanding conversations; favouring one ear; thinking that people always mumble; turning the television or radio up louder than usual; having difficulty hearing on the telephone; withdrawing from social contact; ringing or buzzing in the ears (tinnitus); appearing dull and disinterested; and being slow to respond.
Common causes of hearing loss include:
The aging process; noise exposure; heredity; middle ear dysfunction; certain medications; neurological diseases or stroke; head injury; inner ear infection; or in rare cases, tumours.
Today's hearing aids are much improved and provide clear, comfortable sound. Proper hearing keeps communication flowing. Most people with hearing loss can benefit from a binaural system-a hearing aid in each ear. It provides better directionality, better clarity, and better ability to separate sounds in noise. If you have a hearing aid and are not happy with it, don't hesitate to consult again.
More information on hearing loss: Public Health Agency of Canada.