Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss affects one out of every 10 people and can be categorized as conductive or sensorineural (nerve) hearing loss. Below you will find more information for each type so you can get started on your journey to a better hearing.
Hearing loss involving the outer or middle ear, accounting for about 10% of all hearing loss, can be corrected or treated through medication, surgery or hearing aids. This type of loss can result from:
- Blockage of wax
- Punctured ear drum
- Birth defects
- Ear infections
- Hereditary loss
Sensorineural (Nerve) Loss
This kind of hearing loss accounts for approximately 90% of all hearing loss and can only be remedied through the use of hearing aids. Common causes include:
- Exposure to loud or persistent noise
- Viral infections
- Meniere’s disease
- Ototoxic medications
- Circulatory disturbances
- And other illnesses
Signs of Hearing Loss
Take your thumb and forefinger and rub them together about six to eight inches from your ear. If you don’t hear any noise, you may need to ask yourself:
- Do other people complain about the volume of my television or radio?
- Do I find myself struggling to follow conversations, understand words or asking people to repeat themselves?
- Do I intently watch the faces of people when they talk?
- Is the struggle of trying to hear causing me to feel tired or frustrated?
- Do I feel isolated or avoid social situations because of my hearing?
- Do I think others are not speaking clearly?
- Do I struggle to hear when there is other noise surrounding the person I am speaking to, but do fine one-on-one?
- Do arguments begin due to my hearing?
- Has someone I love suggested I have my hearing tested?
If you find yourself answering positively to two or more of these questions, a hearing evaluation is in order. Act now, don’t waste any more time and don’t miss out on good times due to poor hearing.
Many of us delay seeking help for our hearing loss because of misconceptions about our ability to be helped. While there may be nothing that can be done medically or surgically for nerve loss or nerve deafness, hearing aids can help. In fact, nearly 95% of all people with a sensorineural (nerve) loss can be helped with hearing aids. The most popular misconceptions are:
- Everyone mumbles when they talk to me. Yes, there may be a few people who do indeed mumble, but if you think everyone mumbles, a hearing evaluation may be in order.
- My hearing is normal for my age. Other physical ailments may be normal for your age, but shouldn’t you receive help for the problem?
- I only have a hearing loss in the high frequencies. High frequencies are the most important for speech understanding. This is especially true when background noise is present because noise is a low frequency sound and it takes over speech in the region of normal hearing.
- I only need one hearing aid. The human ears were designed to bring balanced sound from both sides and to localize the direction of sound. Being able to hear from both sides in a balanced manner allows for improved clarity and speech discrimination. Hearing from both sides allows us to hear approximately four times farther than with one ear and allows for easier speech detection in a noisy environment.
- Hearing aids make everything too loud. Today’s digital hearing aid technology amplifies only the frequencies you need with the appropriate amount of loudness. Digital hearing aids have the technology to automatically convert sounds to your individual needs. Loud sounds are automatically reduced without adjusting the speech level.