Causes and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Some people are born with hearing loss, and others acquire it either suddenly or slowly over time. Hearing loss can be attributed to various factors such as noise exposure, aging, ototoxic medications, head trauma, middle ear disease, inner ear problems, and post surgical complications. Typical signs that you may need to have your hearing tested include saying "Huh?", asking for repetition, increasing the volume on the TV, difficulty hearing conversation in groups or in noisy settings, being told that you speak loudly, difficulty understanding on the telephone, turning your better ear towards the person speaking, and complaining that others are mumbling.
Effects of Undiagnosed or Untreated Hearing Loss
Undiagnosed hearing loss can lead to feelings of low self esteem, irritability, fatigue, tension, stress, depression, withdrawal, and isolation. It also poses safety concerns such as not hearing a car horn, doorbell, smoke alarm, telephone, or simple directions thereby inadvertently decreasing your reaction time in an emergency. In addition, studies indicate that there is a clinically significant association between hearing loss and the risk for accelerated cognitive decline.