January 23, 2020

How to Recognize the Signs of Hearing Loss

By, Dr. Matthew Bartindale

Sound enhances the way we experience the world, so when your ability to hear clearly is diminished for any reason, it can be confusing, frustrating and incredibly isolating. The signs and symptoms of hearing loss can be subtle at first and may build slowly over time, making it difficult to identify a hearing issue quickly on your own.

Puget Sound ENT specializes in evaluating, diagnosing and treating hearing loss. Our audiologists have a deep understanding of the unique and challenging symptoms that patients often experience when they are concerned that their hearing might be compromised.

What are the most common signs of hearing loss?

  • Tinnitus, often described as a ringing, buzzing or hissing sound that you hear but others around you do not
  • Trouble following conversations, especially in noisy environments like at social gatherings, or in restaurants or busy stores
  • Perception that everyone around you is mumbling
  • Difficulty having phone conversations
  • Listening to your TV, radio or headphones at a higher volume than usual
  • Friends or family members expressing frustration with your hearing
  • Fatigue after social events

If you’ve consistently experienced one or more of these symptoms, your hearing may need to be evaluated. Luckily, Puget Sound ENT offers a wide variety of personalized solutions, ranging from traditional hearing aids to more advanced solutions including cochlear implants. Our incredible team is trained to help evaluate your hearing needs, ultimately prescribing you a level of technology that is suited to your own personal listening environment.

What are the different types of hearing loss?

Hearing loss generally falls into three main categories, with different treatment options for each. The specialists at Puget Sound ENT can help you determine which type you are experiencing and can suggest the best course of treatment.

  • Conductive: Caused by an impediment to noise transmission in your external or middle ear
  • Sensorineural: Due to damage to the neurons or hair cells in your inner ear
  • Central: Originates in the brain

What type of hearing aid works best?

The best type of hearing aid depends on your specific type and level of hearing loss. The experts at Puget Sound ENT will work with you to evaluate your personal listening environment, level and type of hearing problem, desired functions and accessories, budget and more to help you pick a hearing aid that will work best for you.

In addition to helping patients select the best device for their unique hearing needs, Puget Sound ENT’s staff have expertise in the latest hearing aid accessories, including remote microphones and Bluetooth technology that allow you to establish a direct connection to your phone or TV. We carry a variety of cleaning supplies and batteries, and our staff are trained to repair and reprogram hearing devices, whether they were fitted here at our clinic or elsewhere.

To schedule an appointment with one of Puget Sound ENT’s audiologists, call 1 (425) 775-6651 or visit our Contact Us page.

About Dr. Matthew Bartindale

Dr. Matthew Bartindale attended the University of Notre Dame before earning his medical degree from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in 2014. He then completed a five-year residency in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at Loyola University Medical Center in 2019.

Dr. Bartindale has been involved in research with numerous publications and presentations at national meetings. His research interests have focused primarily on the management of lateral skull base tumors, primarily designing studies using systematic literature reviews. He placed in Loyola’s Girgis Resident Research Competition four times during residency.