Information about hearing loss.
Causes of Hearing Loss
More than 30 million Americans of all ages suffer from hearing loss. Hearing loss can develop at any time, either suddenly or gradually. Many do not realize for several years that hearing loss is affecting them. Hearing loss manifests itself in subtle ways, such as struggling to understand others in certain situations or simply not hearing certain sounds clearly. There are many causes of hearing loss, including:
- Long-term exposure to noise
- The aging process
- Infections and illness
- Reactions to medications
- Ear Wax
Hearing loss affects not only the individual but also those around them. Many times friends and family recognize the symptoms of hearing loss long before the patient.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Did you know that hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults? The National Council on Aging (NCOA) states that more than nine million Americans over the age 65 exhibit hearing loss. There are an additional 10 million between the ages of 45 and 65 who experience some degree of hearing loss.
As your hearing declines, so does your ability to effectively communicate. You may find yourself avoiding certain situations, accusing others of mumbling or finding it hard to hear certain individuals such as women or small children. All are common signs you may have a hearing loss. Hearing loss can be frustrating, isolating and for some an embarrassing situation. Audio Recovery's professional audiologists can help alleviate your symptoms. You can be "in the flow" of life again!
Types of Hearing Loss
There are two general categories of hearing loss:
Sensorineural Hearing Loss occurs when there is damage to the nerves of the inner ear. This is generally permanent and accounts for approximately 95% of all hearing losses. It cannot be cured but can be successfully managed with the use of hearing instruments.
Conductive Hearing Loss occurs when sound is not being transmitted properly to the inner ear due to a "mechanical” problem. It is often the result of damage or blockage in the outer or middle ear. In most cases, conductive hearing problems can be corrected medically. Audio Recovery's master and doctoral-level audiologists can determine he proper treatment for your condition.
Do I have a hearing loss?
- Do you frequently ask for words or sentences to be repeated?
- Do you strain to understand conversation?
- Do you often turn up the television or radio louder than others would prefer?
- Do people often sound as though they're mumbling or speaking to softly?
- When you are socializing, does background noise bother you?
- Do you misunderstand what others are saying or answer questions inappropriately?
- Do you remove yourself from conversations or social situations because it is difficult to hear what is being said?
- Do you need to ask others about details of a meeting that you just attended?
- Do you have difficulty hearing the doorbell or telephone?
- Has someone close to you mentioned that you might have a problem with your hearing?
If you answered “YES” to 3 or more of these questions, you may have a hearing problem and should have your hearing evaluated by an audiologist.
A hearing test by your audiologist
Your audiologist will administer a brief test that evaluates your ability to recognize tones and everyday words at different volume levels. By putting together your responses to this test, the audiologist creates a visual representation of your hearing called an Audiogram.Your audiologist uses the data from your audiogram to determine if you might benefit from hearing instruments or if other medical treatment may be appropriate.