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You may have a hearing loss if:
- People say you shout when you talk to them.
- You need the television or radio turned up louder than other people.
- You often ask people to repeat themselves because you cannot hear or understand them, especially in groups or when there is background noise.
- You can hear better out of one ear than the other.
- You have to strain to hear.
- You cannot hear a dripping faucet or a high-pitched note of a musical instrument (e.g., violin, piano).
- You think people mumble when they speak.
If you have any of these signs and symptoms, you should consider seeing your doctor or hearing healthcare professional to be tested for hearing loss.
- Sensorineural - Hearing loss that usually develops from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear (hair cells). This damage can occur from disease, illness, age, injury from exposure to noise or certain medicines, or from a genetic disorder.
- Conductive - Hearing loss that occurs when sound waves cannot transmit through the outer or middle ear or both. This can, for example, be caused by earwax, fluid in the middle ear space, or a punctured eardrum. Medical or surgical treatment can often restore hearing in people with a conductive hearing loss.
- Mixed - Combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
Hearing aids may be beneficial unless your condition requires medical or surgical treatment. Only a small portion of adult hearing problems, such as ear infection and middle ear diseases, are medically or surgically treatable.