Hearing loss and tinnitus are common conditions – and they shouldn’t hold you back.


Having trouble hearing a conversation in a crowded restaurant? Feeling left out at a party? Missing the sounds of birds outside? Hearing a buzz in your ears that won’t go away?

It’s probably hearing loss or tinnitus – and you’re not alone. About 360 million people worldwide have these common conditions – and there’s a lot that can be done to help.


Early signs of hearing loss can be subtle. Maybe you find yourself asking your husband to repeat himself a lot – or you didn’t catch the whole conversation at table last night. As time goes on, your hearing is likely to get worse, robbing you of the sound you are used to. 

Common early hearing loss symptoms include: 

  • Difficulty understanding people, especially in crowded places like restaurants 
  • Need to have phrases repeated 
  • High volume on the TV or stereo 
  • Difficulty hearing on the phone 
  • Difficulty following group conversations

Unsure if you have a hearing loss? Take our free online hearing test. 

If you are experiencing a sudden or dramatic loss of hearing, contact a medical professional immediately.


Before you start picking out hearing aids, it’s important to know your hearing loss type and level. 

Hearing loss is typically divided into two categories: conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. You can also have a mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of the two. 

If you suspect that you have a hearing loss, your local hearing care professional can conduct a full hearing evaluation. 


If you hear a ringing, buzzing or humming noise in your ears, you probably have tinnitus. Tinnitus is a common and manageable condition. Most often, it is caused by repeated exposure to excessively loud noise .

Most people who have tinnitus also have some form of hearing loss. The tinnitus sounds they hear often come from the brain overcompensating for the loss by creating its own background noise. Some forms can also be related to muscle movements near the ear or problems with blood flow in the face or neck.

Tinnitus can be caused by a variety of factors, including aging. It has also been associated with ear infections, earwax and sensory nerve disorders. Stress, high blood pressure and alcohol use can also cause tinnitus.

How to help tinnitus
If you suspect that you have some form of tinnitus, the first step is to undergo a professional evaluation. Some professionals offer Widex Zen Therapy to help you reduce the common negative effects of tinnitus. Widex Zen Therapy consists of four components that can be tailored to your individual needs.

Our tinnitus management app, Widex Zen, offers comforting sounds to help you avoid complete silence, and reduces your focus on the tinnitus. It’s also helpful for meditation and relaxation. Get started with the Widex Zen app for tinnitus management today.


Hearing loss doesn’t just affect adults. Children can also have hearing loss from birth or develop it in later years.

Common hearing loss symptoms in children include:

  • Trouble understanding what people are saying
  • Not responding to loud noises
  • Needing things repeated a lot
  • High volume on TV or computer
  • Difficulty following group conversations
  • Withdrawing from social situations

Contact a hearing case professional if you suspect that your child has hearing loss.


The first step toward helping a loved one with hearing loss is to make sure that they understand their condition. To start, ask your loved one to take our free five-minute online hearing test.

Here are some other tips for communicating with someone with hearing loss:

  • Catch his/her attention before speaking to make sure he/she looks at you
  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Repeat what he/she doesn’t hear the first time Using body language to show what you are saying
  • Ask if he/she heard what you said

For more tips and tricks on communicating with people with hearing loss, download our e-book.

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