OhioHealth Ear, Nose & Throat Physicians

Locations in: Mansfield and Ontario

Hearing Loss Information

Hearing Loss Self-Test

The onset of hearing loss is usually very gradual. It may take place over 25-30 years, or it may happen more rapidly if you are exposed to loud noises at work or through hobbies. Because it usually occurs slowly, you may not even be aware that you have a problem until someone brings it to your attention. Here is a simple text you can take to determine if you have a hearing loss.

  • Do others complain that you watch television with the volume too high?
  • Do you frequently have to ask others to repeat themselves?
  • Do you have difficulty understanding what is being said when in groups or noisy situations?
  • Do you have to sit up front in meetings, church or other social gatherings in order to hear a speaker’s words?
  • Do you have difficulty understanding women or young children?
  • Do you have trouble knowing where sounds come from?
  • Are you unable to understand when someone talks to you from another room?
  • Have others told you that you don’t seem to hear them?
  • Do you avoid family gatherings or social situations because you “can’t understand”?
  • Do you have ringing or other noises (tinnitus) in your ears?

 

If you have answered yes to even one of these questions, you should call either our Mansfield or Ontario offices to have your hearing evaluated by an audiologist and take steps now to educate yourself about lifestyle changes you can make to slow the progression of hearing loss. 

Causes of Hearing Loss

The causes of hearing loss are varied and their impact on hearing is variable. The main causes of hearing loss are as follows:

  • Excessive noise exposure (i.e. construction, rock music, gun shot, loud machinery, etc.)
  • Obstruction or blockage in the ear canal
  • Aging
  • Head trauma/injury to the head, ear or nerves
  • Birth defects or genetics
  • Reaction to drugs or cancer treatment
  • Disease, infectious and neurological conditions:
  • Stroke
  • Diseases of the vascular system such as sickle cell anemia
  • Kidney disease
  • Meniere's syndrome
  • Congenital infections such as toxoplasmosis, rubella, CMV, herpes, other bacterial infections like syphilis
  • Infections such as influenza, meningitis, labyrinthitis, mumps, syphilis
  • Diabetes

 

Hearing Loss and Children

Children's quality of life and development vitally depend on the ability to hear.  The single most important sign of hearing loss in children is the failure to develop, or the delayed development of spoken language.

If children have severe or profound hearing loss, it is usually obvious that they do not respond to sound. Sometimes it is difficult to detect mild forms of hearing loss, including hearing loss in only one ear. Common warning signs for hearing loss in children include a family member’s or teacher concern’s regarding:

  • Hearing acuity
  • Delays or differences in speech and language development
  • Attention or behavioral difficulties
  • Academic performance
  • Inappropriate, delayed, or lack of response to soft and moderate-level sounds: speech or environmental when distractions are minimal
  • Use of "what?" or "huh?" frequently
  • Intently watching the faces of speakers
  • Difficulty understanding speech in background noise
  • Sitting close to the TV set when the volume is adequate for others; increasing the TV or stereo/tape/CD player volume to unreasonably loud levels
  • Not responding to voices over the telephone or switching ears continually when the phone is utilized
  • Not startled by intense sounds
  • Unable to locate the source of a sound accurately

 

Learn more about hearing loss.