Hearing Loss

Understanding Hearing Loss

If you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss, you may be feeling overwhelmed. Chances are, you’ve got misconceptions about this condition. Understanding loss of hearing will improve your chances of successful treatment.

The Facts About Hearing Loss

Patients with loss are hardly alone. This is a very common condition that affects one-third of those by the age of 65. But it’s not just confined to older adults: hearing loss strikes people of all ages, including children.

The most common causes of loss of hearing are aging and noise exposure. A number of additional factors can help contribute to hearing impairment including ear infections, trauma, congenital defects, excess earwax, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, otosclerosis and Meniere’s disease.

It may take several years for a person with loss to become aware of his or her condition. Loss of hearing occurs gradually, and the body becomes accustomed to the impairment. Often, it takes a family member or close friend to point out the condition. If you have trouble understanding others when they talk, think their speech sounds muffled, frequently find yourself asking them to repeat what they have said, and turn the volume on the television and radio to levels others find uncomfortable, you may be experiencing hearing loss.

Can Hearing Loss Be Prevented?

Sensorineural hearing loss, the most common type, is incurable. But some forms of conductive hearing loss, particularly noise-induced, can be prevented. Make sure to wear hearing protection if you will be exposed to loud noises (sporting events, concerts, motorcycles, power equipment) for extended periods of time. Treat ear infections promptly, and make sure your children are current on their vaccinations.

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Hearing Loss Causes

Photo of a hearing test in progress

Hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner, middle or outer ear. The most common cause of damage is noise exposure and aging. Determining what is causing your specific type of hearing loss is necessary in order to provide you with the right treatment plan. Presbycusis The most common type of hearing loss is…

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Hearing Loss Signs

Hearing loss is one of the biggest health concerns in the U.S. It is the third most commonly reported physical condition, following arthritis and heart disease. Hearing loss affects roughly 20 percent of the American population and can strike people of all ages. The most common causes of hearing loss are noise exposure and aging. What…

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Hearing Protection

We are exposed to sound on a daily basis. Volume levels vary considerably, and can easily exceed 85 decibels (dB) – the threshold that is considered safe. Any prolonged exposure to noise exceeding this is harmful and can cause permanent, irreversible hearing loss. Excess noise exposure isn’t the only cause of hearing damage. Diseases, drugs and…

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Hearing Test

Audiology evaluations consist of a series of tests used to determine whether a hearing loss exists and, if so, measure its type, degree and configuration. An audiologist will assess the results of each individual test in order to develop a treatment plan geared toward your unique hearing loss. Who Should Be Given an Audiology Evaluation?…

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How Hearing Works

The ear is a surprisingly complex organ responsible for collecting and processing sounds and transmitting them to the brain for interpretation. Many take hearing for granted, but understanding the process is the key to treating hearing loss. How Is the Ear Structured? The ear consists of three sections: the outer ear, middle ear and inner…

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Types of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss affects an estimated 48 million Americans. There are many different causes, which translate to different types of hearing loss. An understanding of the cause and type of hearing loss is essential in developing a successful treatment plan. Types of Hearing Loss There are three main types of hearing loss. They are: Conductive Hearing…

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