Classic symptoms of this illness include a gradual decline in hearing abilities and a tendency to speak in a very low voice. In a small number of incidences the loss of hearing remains mild, but in most cases, it worsens over time. Since this illness makes sufferers own voices sound very loud to them, they feel obliged to correct this by speaking more quietly. Another symptom is the way affected individuals find it easier to hear others speaking when there is a lot of noise in the background. Doctors use the term paracusis to describe a situation where the presence of background noise improves the patient's hearing.
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