Have you ever found yourself asking someone to repeat themselves many times during a conversation? Or do you struggle to hear certain sounds, like the TV at a normal volume or birds chirping? These are just some examples of how hearing loss can manifest in your daily life.
Hearing loss is a common condition that affects people around the world. It can occur at any age and for many different reasons, such as genetics, exposure to loud noises, aging, infections, or certain medications. The impact of hearing loss can range from mild difficulty hearing to complete deafness.
Identifying the type of hearing loss is important because it can help you get access to the most appropriate treatment or intervention.
Types of Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs due to damage in the inner ear or the auditory nerve pathways that transmit sound from the inner ear to the brain. This type of hearing loss is the most common and can be caused by aging, genetics, exposure to loud noises, viral infections, head trauma, and certain medications.
This type of hearing loss can affect your ability to hear sounds clearly, especially in noisy environments. If you have this type of hearing loss, you may experience difficulty distinguishing speech sounds, especially at higher frequencies. In some cases, tinnitus may manifest with sensorineural hearing loss.
Treatment options include hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive listening devices, and auditory rehabilitation therapy.
Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves are not able to enter the outer and/or middle ear. This can be caused by a variety of factors such as fluid in the middle ear, earwax buildup, ear infections, perforated eardrum, blockages from foreign objects, or malformation of the ear canal or middle ear.
If you have conductive hearing loss, you may experience a decrease in the volume of sounds, specifically difficulty hearing faint or distant sounds. You may also find it harder to distinguish between similar-sounding words.
Generally, conductive hearing loss is temporary and can be treated with medical or surgical interventions, such as the removal of earwax or foreign objects, antibiotics, or surgery to correct structural abnormalities.
Mixed hearing loss
In some cases, conductive hearing loss may occur alongside sensorineural hearing loss, resulting in mixed hearing loss.
It is important to identify the type and degree of hearing loss in order to determine the best intervention, enhance communication, and improve the overall quality of life.
Talk to your audiologist
If you are experiencing some signs of hearing loss, we recommend setting an appointment with an audiologist to get a hearing test.
Hearing loss can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, affecting the ability to communicate, work, socialize, and enjoy hobbies and many other activities. Early detection and intervention can help prevent further deterioration of hearing ability and help maintain independence and engagement with the world.
A hearing test can accurately identify the type and degree of hearing loss, and serve as a baseline for future hearing monitoring. Hearing evaluations may also tap into underlying conditions or factors that may be contributing to the auditory problem.
An audiologist can interpret the results and provide recommendations for appropriate interventions, such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive listening devices, or auditory rehabilitation therapy.
Audiologists and Hearing Tests in Austin, TX
Untreated hearing loss has been linked to many health concerns, such as depression, social isolation, anxiety, cognitive decline, and increased risk of falls and accidents.
By getting a hearing test and consulting with an audiologist, you can identify your type of hearing loss and take proactive steps to address your hearing health to enjoy a better quality of life.
Austin Hearing Aid Center provides comprehensive hearing tests in Austin, TX.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!