Danny W. Gnewikow, PhD, FAAA
Audiologist, CCC
Founder & Chief Audiologist


Danville, VA
(434) 799-6288

Lynchburg, VA
(434) 528-4245

Educational Videos & Blog

Danny Gnewikow

Walking Through the Early Stages of Hearing Loss: You're Not Talking About Me...Are You? Part I

  • Check out our “Do I Need a Hearing Aid?” page on this website for a personal hearing loss assessment questionnaire.

Part I: The Signs and Symptoms of Mild Hearing Loss

“My children were the first to complain—they said I wasn’t listening.”

 “My boss got a real laugh when I misunderstood what she said at the office party.”

 “I could hear my husband fine if he just didn’t talk with the TV blaring.”

What do these people have in common: a mild, but as of yet, unrecognized or unacknowledged, early hearing loss.

Early hearing loss is invisible, painless, and inconsequential—right? WRONG! You as the individual with a mild hearing loss may think it’s invisible but it is usually quite apparent to those to whom you repeatedly say “What?”—or to those who may be embarrassed when you misunderstand what is said.

It is also not painless. It can cause you to feel slightly or more than slightly, depressed. It can cause you to feel a little socially inept, perhaps even isolated. And the consequences—well, they can range from fatigue at the end of a busy “listening” day to the possibility of being passed over for a promotion.

A mild hearing loss always involves some decline in the ability to detect sound which may be perceived more as a loss of word understanding than an overall sound reduction.

With a mild/early hearing loss, an individual can usually communicate quite well in an easy listening situation, such as face-to-face conversations in a small room. Unfortunately, these situations do not present themselves often. When in a lecture hall, a large crowded meeting room or in a noisy restaurant, this same individual may be unable to understand some of what is being said.

 Remember: Communication is the most important part of being human.

Adapted by Dr. Gnewikow from: Brewer, D.M., Yaffe-Oziel S., Walton, R.T. (1993) Walking through the early stages of hearing loss. SHHH Journal. November/December 7.10


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