Why am I having trouble hearing?

Early signs of hearing loss can be subtle. Can you hear people but not always understand what they're saying? This is a common symptom of hearing loss. In 90 percent of cases, hearing loss occurs when the delicate hair cells in the inner ear are damaged or not functioning properly. This means the brain does not receive all the information it needs to understand speech. 

This damage first affects the high-frequency sounds of speech, including the “f”, “s,” and “th” sounds. Many times, the voices of women and children sound softer and garbled. Imagine removing all the high keys on a piano and asking someone to play a well-known melody. Even with only six or seven keys missing, the melody might be difficult to recognize. People with hearing loss experience a similar variation every day.