Many people suffer from hearing loss. In fact, according to the Better Hearing Institute, almost 48 million Americans (20%) live with some degree of hearing loss. Medical research studies show links to emotional, physical, psychological and even economic disadvantages resulting from untreated hearing deficiencies. Unfortunately common “myths” prevent many from doing anything about it.
Causes of Hearing Loss
One of the most common myths is that only “old people” suffer from it. In fact, the reverse is true. The majority (65%) of people with hearing deficiencies are younger than 65 and six million people in the U.S. between 18 and 44 struggle with hearing loss. Nearly 1.5 million school age children exhibit hearing difficulties, with far too many of those cases going untreated.
There are several causes beyond the normal aging process with “exposure to noise” ranking high among the reasons.
- Exposure to noise (machinery, firearms, music, explosions etc.)
- Family history of hearing loss
- Medicine (including some cancer medications)
- Aging process (known as presbycusis)
- Head trauma
Types of Hearing Loss
Not all hearing loss can be corrected through the use of hearing aids or alternative listening devices, some require medical intervention or surgery. After a thorough evaluation by our audiologists and doctors, we determine the nature and degree of your hearing loss. There are four types:
- Sensorineural: The most common hearing loss and results from damage to tiny hairs located in the cochlea.
- Conductive: A blockage preventing the normal travel of sound waves through the ear canal. May be caused by something as simple as earwax buildup.
- Mixed: A combination of conductive and sensorineural.
- Central: Strokes and central nerve diseases are often the cause of this rare type of hearing loss.
The type of hearing loss determines the specific treatment required. Regardless of the cause, it is important to have a proper evaluation. Schedule an appointment to have your hearing thoroughly tested by our Audiology Department.