Information on hearing loss and how to recognize the signs early.
Approximately 15% of American adults have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss is the inability to clearly hear sounds in one or both ears. Hearing loss is measured as a range: mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe or profound. When left untreated, hearing loss can negatively affect your concentration, relationships, and mental health. It’s important to treat hearing loss at the first signs so you can preserve your hearing ability and speech comprehension.
Hearing loss is often a slow decline. For this reason, it can be difficult to notice right away. Often times, it is a close friend or relative who suggests you have your hearing checked. Here are some of the most common signs of hearing loss:
Did you know hearing is directly connected to the brain? We don’t hear when sound reaches our ears. We “hear” when sound travels through the ear up to the auditory cortex in the brain. Your brain needs your hearing to process sounds, understand information, and retain healthy memory function.
Untreated hearing loss has been linked to cognitive decline and even dementia. If you have hearing loss, even if it is a mild loss, it’s important to be proactive and consider hearing aids. We carry discreet hearing aids that will help you hear in complex listening environments, give you the confidence to rejoin the conversation, and will provide your brain with the sounds it needs to be active and healthy. Be proactive about your hearing health by scheduling a hearing assessment today.
Just as there are varying degrees of hearing loss, there are also different types. The three main types of hearing loss are sensorineural, conductive, and mixed.
Sensorineural hearing loss affects the most people and can occur at any age. This type of loss happens when there is damage to the cochlea or the hearing nerve. This often results naturally as we age and the hair cells in the inner deteriorate. This type of hearing loss can also be caused by loud noise exposure, ototoxic medications, or an underlying health condition.
Conductive hearing loss happens when sound cannot be properly conducted through the outer and middle ear to the inner ear. This is often caused by earwax impaction, ear infection, fluid in the middle ear, eardrum perforation, or trauma to the ear. Conductive hearing loss can be treated surgically or with antibiotics.
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive. To treat this type of loss, first the conductive portion would need to be treated, either by earwax removal, surgery, or antibiotics. Then, the sensorineural portion can be managed with hearing aids.
Better hearing requires more than just hearing aids. To hear your best, you won’t only need technology fit to your unique hearing needs, but you should also implement effective communication strategies. Share these tips with your family members, friends, and colleagues to ensure you can hear your best.