As we age, hearing loss is very common. It’s primarily seen in people 65 or older, but if you have a job that exposes you to repetitive loud noises for a long time, you may experience hearing loss even earlier. 

Hearing loss doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a gradual change you may not notice for a long time. Sometimes your loved ones may notice it when you have to ask them to repeat themselves. Your friends and family may also notice that the TV is really loud, but to you, it’s not. 

Keep reading to learn more about the early signs and stages of hearing loss, and when it’s time to see the doctor for hearing loss treatment!  

The Early Signs of Hearing Loss

Early signs of hearing loss may be more related to the volume and clarity of what you can hear. Speech and other sounds may be muffled, or you may struggle to hear certain words. You may also notice that you often have to ask everyone to speak a little slower, clearer, and louder.

But remember that your early hearing loss symptoms could differ from those you know. You may lose the ability to hear higher-pitched tones, such as women’s and children’s voices, or really low tones, like the clicks from a car turn signal.

The 5 Stages of Hearing Loss

There are five stages of hearing loss. Depending on your symptoms and hearing test, you may need treatment for your hearing loss. You may also experience hearing loss in only one ear or both ears.

Stage 1: Mild Hearing Loss

The first stage is when you’re having difficulty hearing quiet sounds like a dripping faucet. Or it could be hard to hear a conversation if there’s a lot of background noise. 

Stage 2: Moderate Hearing Loss

In the next stage, you may notice it’s much harder to hear conversations, especially on the phone. Stage 2 is when you may benefit from using hearing aids. 

Stage 3: Moderately Severe Hearing Loss

When it’s hard to hear loud noises, even when they happen right next to you, you’ve reached the third stage of hearing loss. It’ll also be harder to have a conversation without hearing aids.

Stage 4: Severe Hearing Loss

If you have stage four hearing loss, you’ll need a stronger level of hearing aids, and you won’t be able to listen to conversations at all without them. 

Stage 5: Profound Hearing Loss

At this point, you’ll need powerful hearing aids or possibly an implant. And without an implant or hearing aids, you’ll have to depend on sign language, lip reading, or hand motions to communicate.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Treating hearing loss depends on what’s causing it and how severe it is. If your hearing loss is from built-up wax, you’ll simply need to have your ears cleaned. But if that’s not the issue, then your hearing solution may be to wear a hearing aid. 

Surgery is another option if you have an abnormality in your eardrum or bones. You may also need tubes placed if your hearing loss is due to repeated ear infections. 

A cochlear implant is another way to treat hearing loss. Doctors use cochlear implants for severe cases of hearing loss and after you’ve unsuccessfully tried hearing aids. 

Is it Time to Visit an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist? Schedule an Appointment With the Glatz Group!

Sometimes we’re not entirely sure when it’s time to make an appointment to see a doctor. And especially since hearing loss can be so gradual we don’t even notice it immediately. It’s time to make an appointment if you notice a sudden hearing loss or if your hearing loss is starting to affect your daily activities. 

If you’re noticing that it’s time to talk to an ear, nose, and throat doctor about your hearing loss, reach out to the Glatz Group! With our experience in hearing treatments, we can help you figure out what stage of hearing loss you have and what hearing solutions may be best for you. Don’t let muffled sounds hinder your day-to-day — contact Dr. Glatz to improve your hearing today!  

Are you tired of missing out on what’s going on around you? Come in and chat with Dr. Glatz and his team to try some hearing treatment options!

Hear Better Today!