Hearing loss can cause sound to become dull and muffled while also altering the volumes at which we usually hear. This makes understanding speech, locating its source and picking it out against background noise tiring and frustrating. Difficulties following conversations when in meetings, on the phone or while socialising with friends can lead to feelings of embarrassment, stress, isolation, loneliness and even depression.
Loss of hearing can also be accompanied by secondary symptoms. Hyperacusis is a heightened sensitivity to certain volumes and frequencies of sound, where as tinnitus causes ringing and buzzing in the ear when no external sound is present. It is important to know that identifying hearing problems is not easy and that your family and friends may notice symptoms and changes in your behaviour before you do.