Hearing management

Updated 14 December 2017

Symptoms of hearing loss

The symptoms of hearing deficiency are so varied that no one symptom would be interpreted as indicating the possibility of a loss.


The symptoms of hearing deficiency are so varied that no one symptom would be interpreted as indicating the possibility of a loss, but if a child exhibited a number of such symptoms he should be tested. Some of the symptoms are:

  • frequent earaches and complaints of ear difficulties
  • frequent colds with ear discharge
  • lack of attention to casual conversation
  • late to start talking
  • verbal directions ignored consistently
  • tendency to be withdrawn and lack of desire to be involved in social activities
  • difficulty in articulating certain speech sounds
  • frequent confusion as to what has been said
  • constant visual scanning of the speakers’ face
  • consistently turning the head to one side when paying attention to for example a teacher
  • reading disability
  • spelling errors
  • difficulty in taking dictation
  • indifference to music
  • daydreaming

Remember, waiting for these signs is waiting until it is much too late.

Image: Hearing loss from Shutterstock


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Hearing Expert

Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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