What Is Hearing Loss?
For both children and adults, hearing loss makes everyday communication and interaction difficult, often leading to a sense of isolation. The good news is that most types of hearing loss can be prevented or treated. It is important to know some facts about hearing loss. With modern hearing technology, you can regain your ability to listen, perform at work, communicate with family and friends, and enjoy everyday life.
symptoms of hearing loss
Your hearing loss symptoms may be more apparent to others than they are to you. Signs that you could benefit from hearing aids or at least a thorough audiology screening include:
- Ringing in the ear
- You look at people’s mouths when they talk to you
- Favor one ear
- Sounds around you sound muffled
- You ask people to repeat themselves
- Avoid noisy places
Hearing loss in children can show up in ways such as frequent inattentiveness or learning difficulties. Infants with hearing loss may not be startled by loud noises as they normally would and may not be soothed by a familiar voice.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss may be inherited, age- or illness-related, or caused by chronic exposure to loud noises or by trauma to the head. A thorough medical history and examination can help your doctor understand the nature of hearing loss.
What are the effects Of Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can affect quality of life for people of any age. According to research, children with mild to moderate hearing loss may have learning difficulties and may struggle to develop language skills. As a result, self-esteem can suffer. Unattended to, hearing loss in children or adults can have negative impacts on social wellness as well as physical health. Some studies have found associations between hearing loss and memory impairment, social withdrawal, fatigue, and depression. Physically, people with hearing loss have been found to be more susceptible to high blood pressure, stress, muscle tension, and headaches.
What Are the Three Types of Hearing Loss?
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
This hearing loss results from damage to either the auditory nerve or to the tiny cells that live in the inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It may be caused by a number of factors, including infection or a genetic syndrome, age, injury, autoimmune disease, and more.
Conductive Hearing Loss
This hearing loss results from damage or some type of obstruction to the middle or outer ear. The damage or blockage prevents conduction of sound to the inner ear. Depending on the cause, conductive hearing loss may be corrected. Some of the causes of this less common type of hearing loss include wax buildup in the ear, narrowing of the ear canal, swimmer’s ear, fluid buildup in the middle ear, and more.
Mixed Hearing Loss
This combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss is relatively uncommon. It may be caused by trauma to the ear or to the natural progression of hearing loss with age coupled with longstanding conductive hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Treatment
Hearing loss treatment depends on the severity of the hearing loss. A person’s hearing can be improved through surgery or a hearing device. Most people tend to choose hearing devices because they are easier to incorporate into daily life. The most common hearing loss treatment options include:
What Is Bone Conduction Hearing?
Everyone hears sounds through their bones and eardrums. The eardrum hears the sound and then converts the sound waves to vibrations. The vibrations are then sent to the cochlea also known as the inner ear. Although in bone conduction, vibrations can bypass your eardrums. Bone conduction hearing devices take over the role of your eardrums. The device transmits the sound waves into vibrations that can then be heard.
Bone Conduction Systems
For those with permanent conductive or mixed hearing loss and single-sided deafness may be candidates for a bone conduction system. These devices use your body’s natural ability to conduct sound. Once you have a hearing test and meet with the audiologist and neuro-otologist, we can guide you to the appropriate treatment for your specific hearing loss.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are experiencing hearing loss, call 972.984.1050 to schedule a consultation. At ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas one of our audiologists can determine the best treatment for you.