Hearing Loss

There are three major types of hearing loss and the type of loss you have will determine the treatment. 

 

Conductive 

Hearing loss due to problems with the ear canal or middle ear space. This can include anything from wax buildup to fluid in the middle ear.

Sensorineural 

This is caused when tiny hairs in the cochlear are missing or damaged. This is most often due to genetics, age or noise exposure.

Mixed 

This is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

The primary causes of hearing loss are:

 

Genetics

If your relatives suffer from hearing loss, it can increase your chances as well. Genetically inherited hearing loss is the most common cause of permanent hearing loss and is easily treatable with amplification.

Loud Noise Exposure

Over time, exposure to loud noises over 80 decibels can have a significant impact on our hearing. Approximately 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have hearing loss that may have been caused by exposure to loud noise. This type of hearing loss is preventable.

Aging (Presbycusis)

Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss and almost half of those over the age of 75. Because this type of loss occurs gradually, you may not realize that your hearing is not what it should be without having it evaluated.

Ototoxic Medications

There are over 200 different kinds of medicines known to negatively affect the hearing system, including both over-the-counter and prescription medications. Medications can cause both temporary and permanent hearing loss. It is important to discuss the risks with your physician before taking any medication.

Disease 

There are several diseases and illnesses that can cause hearing loss. Conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes can interrupt blood flow to the inner ear. In addition, autoimmune diseases and ear infections can also contribute to hearing loss.

The top symptoms of hearing loss are:

Ringing & Buzzing 

Also known as tinnitus. It is the ringing, buzzing, humming or roaring in the ear. It can be constant or intermittent.

Muffled Speech or "Mumbling"

A muffling of speech or sounds with difficulty in hearing things clearly.

Difficulty Understanding 

Misunderstanding words or conversations.

Asking for Repetition 

Frequently asking others to repeat themselves or to talk more slowly with more volume.

Increasing the Volume 

Feeling the need to turn up the volume of the television or radio to hear better.

Social Avoidance 

Avoiding specific social situations because of your difficulty to hear and engage in conversation.


Hearing Loss Resources (and other practices we recommend)

 

Hearing Tracker

Hearing Tracker is an informational resource on hearing loss, hearing aids and the latest in hearing technology. They have an excellent YouTube channel as well with a lot of information.

Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic website has excellent information on hearing loss and associated treatment options, symptoms and causes. Their website is an excellent resource.

Applied Hearing Solutions

Applied Hearing Solutions is a hearing care practice in Phoenix, Arizona. For those traveling in the area or relocating to the Phoenix metro area, they are an option for care.

Greentree Hearing & Audiology

Greentree is located in the St. Louis area and like us, is a locally-owned and independent hearing care practice. They offer a number of hearing and audiology services.


Silicon Valley Hearing

Silicon Valley Hearing, Inc is a full service audiology clinic located in Los Gatos, CA. They offer a number of services, including tinnitus, misophonia and hearing aids.

Anywhere Audiology

Like Digital Hearing Outlet, Anywhere Audiology provides mobile hearing care services. They are a collection of Audiologists that cover New York and New Jersey.

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