Information on hearing loss and how it corelates to health.
Importance of Hearing Health
Hearing plays a much larger role than you may realize. We rely on our hearing to effectively communicate, to understand speech, to keep us balanced, and to maintain healthy brain function. When left untreated, hearing loss can have many negative side effects. While everyone who is having difficulty hearing should schedule a hearing check-up, we recommend anyone over the age of 55 to have their hearing tested annually.
How Does Hearing Work?
It’s important to understand how the ears work and translate sound in order to properly diagnose hearing loss and find a suitable treatment option. How we hear is broken into a few parts.
Signs of Hearing Loss
Sometimes, hearing loss can go unnoticed. Because it can be difficult to recognize the signs, it’s often a family member who first notices a decline in your hearing. Common symptoms of hearing loss include:
Types of Hearing Loss
Just as there are different levels of hearing loss, there are also different types. The three main types are sensorineural, conductive, and mixed.
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss, affecting the most people. This occurs when there is damage to the hair cells inside the inner ear or to the cochlea preventing sound signals from being transmitted to the brain. Common causes of sensorineural hearing loss include age, genetics, loud noise exposure, ototoxic medications, and head/ear trauma.
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound cannot be conducted from the outer and middle ear to the inner ear. This is often the result of earwax blockage, ear infection, or fluid in the middle ear. This type of hearing loss will need to be treated by a medical professional.
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural and conductive losses. Treatment for this type of hearing loss will require the conductive portion being treated by a physician and the sensorineural portion can be managed with hearing aids.