About Hearing Loss
There are numerous solutions to hearing loss, one of which are hearing aids. By knowing more about the causes, symptoms, tests, treatments, and prevention of hearing loss, it is easier to understand how it affects you and lead you to solutions that can offer a better quality of life.
Hearing Loss Symptoms
Hearing loss symptoms can vary depending on the degree, type and cause. For people with age-related hearing loss, it is not unusual to experience high-frequency hearing loss. With this condition, higher-pitched sounds, such as chirping birds or children’s voices, may be more challenging to hear.
In general, people who have hearing loss may experience any or all of the following:
Difficulty understanding conversations
A sense of hearing but not fully understanding
Turning up the volume of your TV, music, smartphone, etc.
Often asking others to repeat themselves
Avoiding social situations
Feeling exhausted after conversations with friends, colleagues and family
Increased difficulty communicating in noisy environments including restaurants, concerts, family gatherings, and group meetings
Experiencing tinnitus ringing and/or buzzing in your ear(s)
What are the types of hearing loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss
This is the most common type of hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and caused by various conditions that damage tiny hair cells along the auditory nerve or the inner ear. The integrity of the auditory nerve is important since it carries essential information pertaining to the pitch, loudness and meaning of sounds to the brain. Most adults with hearing loss are diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss can result in difficulty understanding speech or sound even though it’s loud enough to hear.
Conductive hearing loss
A mechanical problem in the outer or middle ear, or an obstruction in the ear canal (like earwax), is the main cause of conductive hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss can be permanent however, more often, it is temporary and can be treated medically. This type of hearing loss can also be caused by an ear infection. An infection in the middle ear can cause fluid to build up, which affects the movement of the eardrum and the tiny bones attached to it.
Mixed hearing loss
This occurs when a person has both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be caused by many things, hence, it’s important to determine the root cause to learn about and get the right treatment.
Any of the scenarios below can increase one’s risk in developing gradual hearing loss:
-Frequent exposure to excessively loud noises (loud machinery, gunfire, etc.)
-Being over 60 years old may increase one’s risk in experiencing age-related hearing loss
-Having a family member with hearing loss or having a family history of genetic disorders related to hearing loss
The more risk factors you have, the more likely you will experience hearing loss. There are also some surprising risk factors such as:
-Certain medications, also known as “ototoxic” drugs -Trauma or injury to the head
-Certain illnesses such as Meniere’s disease, otosclerosis or autoimmune disease
How is hearing loss tested?
Hearing tests are painless and widely available. If you think that you or a family member has hearing loss, it is ideal to seek the advice of a qualified professional – an audiologist or a hearing instrument specialist.
Audiologists at Austin Hearing Aid Center will begin the evaluation by conducting a thorough medical background check. We will also be asking about the communication challenges you are experiencing to get a clearer picture of your current hearing status.
There are various types of hearing tests that evaluate different parts of the auditory system. There are also specialized hearing tests for infants and toddlers. Most hearing tests involve a sound-treated booth or room and headphones. A visual exam of the ear canal and eardrum using an otoscope or video otoscope will also be performed. During this test,our audiologists will check if there is something physically contributing to hearing loss, including earwax.
What happens during a hearing test?
During a hearing test, you will be asked to listen to various tones and indicate the softest ones you can hear by pressing a button or raising your hand. This part of the hearing evaluation is pure tone audiometry and is part of the process to determine how much hearing is lost and what speech frequencies (pitches) are most affected. You may also be asked to listen for and repeat certain words. These speech-language tests can determine how well you understand speech and conversations at different levels.
Hearing Loss Treatments - Austin, Texas
Generally, hearing loss is not curable, however, it is almost always manageable and treatable. Finding the right treatment plan is a partnership between you and your audiologist. In creating a plan for you, your , audiologist will take the following factors into consideration:
- Type of hearing loss
- Severity of hearing loss
- Cause (if known)
- Your lifestyle
- Your age and your
- communication needs
- Your cosmetic preferences
- Your budget
Our team at Austin Hearing Aid Center are committed to giving our patients the best hearing care through our professional expertise and individualized treatment plan. Aside from our state-of-the-art equipment, we also make sure to give our patients support outside of the clinic with counseling and by sharing the necessary information on how to maintain and care for your hearing devices.
The most common treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is hearing aids. There are so many hearing instrument options on the market today, varying in styles, sizes, colors, technology levels and price points. People who go through life with untreated hearing loss are prone to cognitive health risks, depression and social withdrawal.
We are here to help
Our team at Austin Hearing Aid Center can help you live a better quality of life with hearing aids. We will be with you every step of your journey to better hearing – from evaluation, to hearing aid selection, fitting, programming and adjustment. If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, waste no time and call us today to schedule an appointment! We are looking forward to being part of your journey to better hearing!
Our office is conveniently located off Ben White and Menchaca Road. We take our time with each person, therefore, it is necessary to schedule your appointment in advance.
What People Say?
Frequently Asked Questions
I provide a comfortable place for people to come have their hearing tested and discuss their hearing concerns. I offer a free, no obligation hearing aid evaluation. If it turns out that you are a candidate for hearing aids, there is a 45-day trial period that includes follow up care to assure proper adjustment.