Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can happen to anyone. Today more than 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. Since it often happens gradually, the symptoms can be subtle or easy to miss. 

Early Signs of Hearing Loss

Here are some of the signs of hearing loss to watch for.

  • Difficulty hearing on the telephone or during video chats
  • Exhaustion or headaches at the end of the day from straining to hear
  • Asking people to repeat what they said
  • Feeling like people are mumbling or speaking too softly
  • Having trouble understanding speech in noisy situations, such as restaurants and sports games
  • Turning the TV up so loud that loved ones comment or complain
  • Difficulty hearing women, children, and high-pitched voices

Social Signs of Hearing Loss

Many people develop adaptive behaviors—or habits—to help compensate for the hearing loss in social settings. They may not even realize they’re doing it! Learn more about the two most common social signs of hearing loss.

  • Social Bluffing: Those with hearing loss often practice ‘social bluffing’, or pretending to hear. They might behave in a way that feigns understanding of what was said. For example, a person with hearing loss may smile and nod along, or respond with vague expressions such as ‘that’s interesting’ or ‘uh-huh.’ They often take cues from other people’s reactions in the room, too, such as laughing along if they notice other people are laughing.
  • Lip-Reading and Body Language: Another common, but subtle hearing loss behavior is learning to read a person’s lips—as well as facial expressions, hand gestures and body language—to help fill in the gaps. Those with hearing loss may start to rely on these visual cues to clarify what was said, and may turn to face the speaker more directly to better observe them.

Do you need a hearing aid?

If several of these signs and symptoms of hearing loss sound familiar, you may have hearing loss. It’s okay—you’re not alone. However, it might be a good time to get your hearing tested by a Miracle-Ear Hearing Instrument Specialist—who can help determine the degree of hearing loss, if any, and whether hearing aids could help.

See a hearing care professional today and take back control of your life.

Hearing Loss Simulations

Hearing Loss Simulation

What does hearing loss sound like? Watch to experience firsthand the effects of hearing loss over time.

Learn More