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Hearing Health

Your ability to hear affects your relationships with those around you and can have a big impact on your overall health. Studies have linked untreated hearing loss to emotional, physical and social decline.

 

Hearing Loss

Types

There are four 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.

Central
Strokes and central nerve diseases are often the cause of this type of hearing loss.


Causes

The primary causes of hearing loss are:
 

Heredity
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.

Exposure to loud noise
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
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.

Medicinal side effect
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.

Head trauma
Physical head trauma can cause hearing loss through a hole in the eardrum or damage to the middle ear structures. Traumatic brain injury can also make the processing of sound more challenging where sounds are perceived incorrectly.


Symptoms

Noise-induced hearing loss tends to occur gradually with no pain. You might not even realize that your hearing has decreased. However, there are early warning signs:

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

Muffling
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.


Treatment

There are several ways to treat and prevent hearing loss. Depending on your unique situation, the following treatments may be recommended. 

Custom Ear Protection
Custom-made earmolds will help you to protect your hearing from noise exposure. Only custom-made hearing protection can provide a great fit, superior comfort and reliable effectiveness.

Hearing Aids
These devices allow you to engage in conversation with less effort and more clarity, particularly in more difficult listening environments.

Aural Rehabilitation
This treatment focuses on helping you adjust to your hearing loss, making the best use of your hearing aids, exploring assistive devices, managing conversations and taking charge of your communication.

Tinnitus Management
Treatment for tinnitus includes overall wellness, sound and behavioral therapies, as well as hearing devices for providing sound where the brain is missing cues from the ear.

How to talk to someone who might be experiencing hearing loss

If a loved one in your life may be experiencing hearing loss, it is important to help them to seek treatment as soon as possible. However, it can be difficult to bring up the subject without the person becoming defensive or denying there's a problem.

 

34% of people with hearing loss don't recognize the symptoms in themselves.

 

 

Here are a few pointers about how to approach the subject with your loved one:

1. Choose the right time. Find a quiet opportunity to discuss the situation that's free from stress and distraction.

2. Speak to your loved one about how the situation is affecting you. Most people don't seek treatment because they put themselves last. But if hearing loss is affecting the lives of other people, the person experiencing diminished hearing is more likely to take action.

3. Focus on the positives. If you know someone who has experienced treatment, share that information with your loved one. At Complete Hearing, we have many success stories from people whose lives were significantly impacted by hearing loss treatment.

Hearing loss treatment has come a long way. Corrective hearing can help the person experience a richer life at home, at work and in their relationships.

Online Hearing Screening

Studies show that the average person waits six years after noticing the first symptoms of hearing loss before seeking treatment. That's a long time for missing out on some of life's great moments. Take our Online Hearing Screening to see if we might be able to help you get back to the conversation.