Living With Hearing Loss

Written by the Nano Hearing Aids Team
Reviewed for Accuracy by Lindsay Roberts, AuD.

Lindsay Roberts
Living With Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can have a profound effect on a person’s hearing ability, and therefore significantly impact their life. Whether a person is experiencing mild to moderate hearing loss or severe hearing loss, many aspects of daily experiences can be negatively impacted. This can include making it difficult to communicate, causing relationships to suffer, work can become challenging, safety issues can arise, and much more.

In this article, you’ll learn about the specific ways a person’s life can be affected while living with hearing loss, the types of hearing loss that can occur, signs and symptoms of hearing loss, and how hearing devices (such as hearing aids) can potentially help.

How Hearing Loss Can Affect Someone’s Life

Multiple areas of life can be altered when living with hearing loss that is left untreated. These categories include (but are not limited to):

Communication with Others

Hearing loss can make it difficult to understand conversations and therefore communicate with others. 


Relationships with family and friends can become strained due to miscommunication or frustration when others must repeat themselves frequently.

Emotional Well-being

Increased stress, anxiety, and depression might occur as a result of feeling disconnected and misunderstood in social and professional settings.

Work and Career

Reduced job opportunities or limitations in specific professions that require clear communication can occur.


It could become difficult to hear important auditory cues. This can include sirens, alarms, or approaching vehicles, leading to potential accidents.

Cognitive Function

Cognitive decline could occur in older individuals with untreated hearing loss due to the increased cognitive load required to process sounds. 


Someone living with untreated hearing loss could experience difficulty in school, particularly children or young adults, as they might miss important information during lectures or have difficulty participating in classroom discussions.


Difficulty with tasks that rely on auditory cues, like crossing busy streets or running various errands, can limit their freedom and independence.

Quality of Life

There might be a reduced enjoyment of music, nature sounds, or other auditory experiences that contribute to their overall quality of life.


Increased feelings of loneliness and isolation can occur due to difficulties in maintaining meaningful social connections.

Mental Health

A person living with hearing loss might experience an increased risk of developing mental health conditions like depression and anxiety as a result of the challenges of hearing loss (when left untreated).

It’s important to address and treat hearing loss to help individuals maintain their quality of life.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss can range from mild to moderate or severe. Below are examples of the specific signs and symptoms associated with each:

Mild To Moderate Hearing Loss: Someone might have mild to moderate hearing loss if they experience any of the below:

  • Trouble hearing conversations in noisy places
  • Difficulty hearing someone on the phone
  • Feeling tired from listening
  • Finding it difficult to follow conversations and hear people in group settings
  • Needing to turn up the volume on the TV or radio, even if others say that it’s loud

Severe Hearing Loss: Someone might have severe hearing loss if they have the below symptoms. If you suspect a friend or loved one might have severe/profound hearing loss, you should schedule a consultation with a hearing specialist or primary care doctor. They can conduct a hearing test to determine the severity of the hearing loss, potential causes, and next steps for treatment:

  • Difficulty hearing a loud noise, even in quiet environments
  • Difficulty hearing conversations
  • Reading lips as a result of your hearing loss
What are the Types of Hearing Loss?
What are the Types of Hearing Loss?

There are three main types of hearing loss - conductive hearing loss, sensorineural, and mixed hearing loss.

Conductive Hearing Loss: Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem in the outer or middle ear that hinders the transmission of sound waves to the inner ear (cochlea). This can be caused by earwax blockage, middle ear infections, a perforated eardrum, or abnormalities in the ear's ossicles (small bones). Conductive hearing loss is often treatable.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss: Sensorineural hearing loss results from damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or the auditory nerve that transmits sound signals from the inner ear to the brain. This type of hearing loss is typically permanent and is the most common form of hearing impairment. Causes of sensorineural hearing loss include age-related factors, noise exposure, genetics, and certain medical conditions or medications.

Sensorineural hearing loss often leads to difficulty in hearing faint sounds, understanding speech in noisy environments, and distinguishing between different frequencies of sounds. The most common treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is the use of a hearing aid to amplify sound. In severe cases, a cochlear implant or other assistive listening devices might be recommended.

Mixed Hearing Loss: Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. It occurs when an individual experiences issues in both the outer or middle ear and the inner ear or auditory nerve. The treatment for mixed hearing loss depends on the specific causes contributing to the condition.

It's important to consult with an audiologist or healthcare professional for a comprehensive hearing evaluation if you suspect hearing loss, especially if you believe it might be severe.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss can occur at any stage of life and be caused by various factors, including those related to normal aging and acquired hearing loss. The specific causes can involve:

Age-related factors (presbycusis)

Noise-induced hearing loss (from headphones or working at loud jobs, such as construction)

Earwax blockage 

Ear infections


Head injury or trauma

Ototoxic medications (drugs that damage hearing)

Chronic diseases (such as diabetes or hypertension)

Meniere's disease

Tumors (acoustic neuroma)

Autoimmune diseases

Malformation of the inner ear

Viral or bacterial infections (such as meningitis)

Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke

Cardiovascular diseases

Ear injuries or perforated eardrum

Ear canal obstructions (such as foreign objects)

Radiation therapy to the head or neck

Neurological conditions (such as multiple sclerosis)

OTC Hearing Aids for Perceived Mild To Moderate Hearing Loss

OTC hearing aids can be an effective solution for improving perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. They are FDA-regulated devices and do not require a prescription, hearing exam, or doctor’s appointment.


With Nano OTC hearing aids, you simply pick the best dome size for your ears, turn them on, and put them in. Keep in mind it might take several days or weeks for your ears and brain to get used to them, which is why Nano OTC Hearing Aids come with a 45-day money-back guarantee and free 24/7 lifetime support.

Reading next

7 Signs of Hearing Loss
How To Talk To Someone About Hearing Loss