Hearing loss is often a gradual process and can become quite severe before a person will seek help. Signs of hearing loss include: difficulty understanding spoken words, spoken word sounds slurred or mumbled, a continual hissing or ringing noise in the ear, and an inability to hear common sounds like a dripping faucet. Also, social situations, television, and concerts may become less enjoyable because many of the sounds cannot be heard. Small children with hearing problems may be slow in learning to speak and may need visual stimulation, instead of voices, to respond to. People who have any symptoms of hearing loss should contact a hearing professional for an examination of the ear and for special hearing tests to determine the cause, type of hearing loss, and treatment.
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