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Hearing Loss 101

How Can You Tell If You Have Hearing Loss?

Do any of these apply to you?

  • I have trouble understanding what people are saying.
  • I often ask people to repeat themselves.
  • I have trouble understanding conversations when there’s background noise, for example, at a restaurant or in a busy workplace.
  • I avoid social situations because I have trouble following the conversation.
  • I turn up the TV and radio to levels that others tell me is loud.
  • I often have ringing in my ears.
  • I hear in one ear better than the other.
  • I’ve been told that I have a hearing problem.

If you answered yes to more than one of the above, you may have hearing loss. Don’t let communication problems like these keep you from enjoying life to the fullest.

Call us now to schedule a hearing evaluation.

What to Do About Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is more common than you might think. It’s estimated that 48 million Americans experience hearing loss, including one in six baby boomers. Noise, diabetes or other factors can cause hearing loss. But most often it’s simply a result of getting older.

Hearing loss typically happens slowly over a period of years. You can gradually get used to asking others to repeat themselves, to straining to hear in restaurants or business meetings, or to turning the TV volume up so high that nobody else can stay in the room. But you deserve to hear better.

Most hearing loss is mild and treatable. There’s no reason to tough it out or to feel left out when you could be getting more from life.

Why live with hearing loss? It will affect not only not only yourself but your family and friends. When you can’t participate in conversations, it frustrates you and your loved ones. Some people become so self-conscious or frustrated by their hearing loss that they stop doing what they love, like playing sports or going to the symphony or even to family gatherings.

Types of Hearing Loss

Getting your hearing tested is the first step to improving your hearing. A diagnostic test of your hearing will identify if you have hearing loss, the degree of loss and how it may be treated.

There are four basic types of hearing loss:


Conductive

Conductive hearing loss is usually temporary. This type of hearing loss may be treated with medication, in-office procedures and/or surgery.


Sensorineural Extra Period

This type of hearing loss occurs when tiny hairs in the cochlea are missing or damaged. Getting fitted with hearing aids is the only non-surgical solution.


Mixed

A combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, this type of hearing loss may be treated with hearing aids alone. The conductive hearing loss component may be medically or surgically treated if indicated.


Central

All hearing loss affects the central auditory system because the “sound” is not delivered to the brain properly. Other medical causes such as stroke and central nervous system diseases may contribute to poorer auditory function. This condition can benefit from a therapy called auditory rehabilitation.

Get your hearing tested to determine whether you have hearing loss and the extent of the loss. After your hearing test, we can determine our best treatment option.


How can you help yourself and your loved ones live better?

Get a hearing test to determine whether you have hearing loss and the possible extent. After your hearing test, we can determine your best option and help you select hearing loss treatments that will:

  • Work best for your level of hearing loss
  • Complement your lifestyle
  • Fit your budget

It’s time to turn up the volume and enjoy the benefits of better hearing.

Hearing helps keep your brain sharp. When you can hear better, you can process information faster, kick your brain into gear and feel like yourself again. The sooner you do something about your hearing, the sooner you’ll regain your confidence.

What’s the right treatment for
your type of hearing loss?

How We Hear

Hearing involves teamwork between your ears and your brain. Hearing begins when sound waves enter your outer ear (the part that’s visible on the outside of your head). The waves travel through your auditory canal, a tube-like passageway lined with tiny hairs and small glands that produce earwax to your middle ear.

The middle ear has three small bones, often referred to as the hammer, the anvil and the stirrup, and the eardrum. The middle ear has an important job: to amplify sound. If any of the middle ear’s parts get disrupted, significant hearing loss can result.


Hearing: The Inside Story

When waves of sound, such as the chirp of birds in your backyard, travel to your middle ear and hit your eardrum, your eardrum vibrates and, in turn, moves the hammer (the small bone is shaped like a hammer). The hammer moves the anvil, which moves the stirrup, transmitting the vibrations into your inner ear.

Your inner ear consists of the cochlea (a small, snail-like structure) and the auditory nerve, which carries information between the cochlea and the brain. With the help of tiny hair cells, the auditory nerve converts sound waves into nerve impulses that travel to your brain. Your brain interprets the sound so you “hear” it as birds chirping, a voice or music. All told, hearing is an amazing process that happens in a split second.

Certain drugs, diseases, noise or simply aging can damage hair cells. Once these hair cells are gone, they cannot be repaired or replaced. Based on your hearing loss, hearing aids can be one option to compensate for the damage to the inner ear.

If you’re experiencing hearing loss, we’re here to help. We can determine what’s not working as well as it should be. We’ll explain your options and help you choose the best solution for your hearing needs and your lifestyle.


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