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Hearing Loss

If you think you may have hearing loss, the best place to start is with a hearing test.

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Hearing loss affects people of all ages due to various reasons. Here’s a simple overview:

  1. Types of Hearing Loss:
    • Conductive Hearing Loss occurs when blockages in the outer or middle ear, like earwax or fluid, prevent sound from reaching the inner ear.
    • Sensorineural Hearing Loss results from damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve, often due to aging, loud noise, genetics, certain medications, or illnesses.
    • Mixed Hearing Loss combines both conductive and sensorineural issues, affecting multiple parts of the ear.
  1. Symptoms:
    • Trouble understanding speech, particularly in noisy places.
    • Increasing the volume higher than usual on devices.
    • Often asking people to repeat themselves.
    • Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds and experiencing ringing or buzzing in the ears (tinnitus).
  1. Diagnosis:
    • A hearing professional can diagnose hearing loss using tests like pure-tone audiometry, speech audiometry, and tympanometry to assess the type and extent of hearing loss.
  1. Treatment:
    • Hearing Aids: These amplify sounds and are commonly used for various types of hearing loss.
    • Cochlear Implants: Suitable for severe hearing loss, these devices bypass damaged parts of the ear to stimulate the auditory nerve.
    • Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs): Tools like FM systems and captioned phones help understand speech better.
    • Medication or Surgery: Some hearing loss conditions require medical or surgical treatment to address the underlying issues.
  1. Prevention:
    • Use earplugs or earmuffs to protect against loud noises.
    • Limit time spent in noisy environments.
    • Avoid using objects to clean ears, which can push wax deeper and cause issues.
    • Maintain ear health and treat ear conditions promptly.

If you suspect hearing loss, consult a healthcare professional like an audiologist for an evaluation. Early detection and treatment are crucial for managing hearing loss and enhancing your quality of life.

Degree of Hearing Loss

Degrees of Hearing Loss

No two hearing impairments are the same. As you receive your hearing test results, your hearing professional will help you understand the degree and type of hearing loss. Below are threshold ranges depending on the degree of loss. Most problems are presbycusis by nature and often fall off first in the high frequencies as illustrated below:

  • Normal hearing ranges from -10dB to 20 dB.
  • Mild loss ranges from 21 dB to 40 dB.
  • Moderate loss ranges from 41 dB to 70 dB.
  • Severe loss ranges from 71 dB to 90 dB.
  • Profound loss ranges from 91 dB to 120 dB.

Check out our video on A Hearing Test Is Easy.

A Visual Guide To How We Hear

A little-known fact: Your brain actually does the hearing, while your ear is simply the mechanism by which sound is converted to nerve impulses that your brain then translates into sounds or words. Any sound impulse in your right ear is sent to the left side of your brain, while any sound impulse in your left ear is sent to the right side of your brain. This function is essential in helping us enjoy a better quality of life.

This visual guide to how the ear works will help you better understand hearing loss. We believe the more you’re educated, the better we can help you find a solution so that you enjoy a better life!