I remember being in 6th grade and learning about Claude Monet. I was fascinated by how he continued painting after beginning to lose his sight, and it was then that I first began to contemplate what the actual sensation of losing one's sight would feel like. Later, I ended up needing glasses, and so figured I might have some idea.
Now, speech researcher Arthur Boothroyd has simulated sensorineural hearing loss, to give people an idea of the experience of this unique condition in which sounds are not only harder to hear (quieter), but may also become jumbled, garbled, and other wise incomprehensible.
You can have a listen here.