About Hearing Loss

About 20 percent of Americans, 48 million, report some degree of hearing loss. At age 65, one out of three people has a hearing loss. About 203 of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable hearing loss in one or more ears. Read on to learn about the signs of hearing loss as well as the causes and types of losses.

Signs of Hearing Loss

  • Listening to the TV or radio at a higher volume
  • Muffled sounds, asking people to repeat their sentences
  • Difficulty understanding what people are saying, especially females and children
  • Exhaustion after attending social events after straining to hear for several hours
  • Avoiding social situations due to the stress of being unable to communicate properly
  • Struggling to easily hear what people are saying on phone calls

Types of Hearing Loss

There are three types of hearing loss, Sensorineural, Conductive, and Mixed (which is a combination of the previous two).

The most common type is called sensorineural hearing loss, or SNHL. This is a permanent hearing loss often caused by damage to the inner ear.

Problems with the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain can also cause SNHL. Those with Sensorineural hearing loss may have a difficult time hearing soft sounds, and loud sounds may sound unclear or muffled.

Conductive hearing loss happens when the natural movement of sound through the external ear or middle ear is blocked, and the full sound does not reach the inner ear. Conductive loss from the exterior ear structures is sometimes a result of too much earwax within the ear. The wax can be safely removed by an Audiologist, helping to regain full hearing abilities.

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