Understand your hearing loss and how you can manage it.
Types of Hearing Loss
There are three main types of hearing loss:
There is another type of hearing loss called retrocochlear, where the problem lies in the pathway between the hearing nerve and the brain. Causes of retrocochlear hearing loss can be disease, tumors, structural deformities, toxic agents, and disruption of blood supply. There is rarely medical treatment that will improve this type of hearing loss.
A normal audiogram has its symbols, both air conduction and bone conduction at the top of the graph. All of these symbols should be above the horizontal bar representing 25 dB for every pitch tested. Normal hearing ranges from –10 to 25 dB, and there should be no difference between the air and bone conduction symbols.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a breakdown in the conduction of sound due to a problem in the outer or middle ear. This could be due to wax/debris in the outer ear, a deformity of the outer or middle ear structures, a hole in the eardrum, dislocation of the ear bones, fibrous growth on the ear bones, negative air pressure in the middle ear, middle-ear fluid/pus, or cholesteatoma. Conductive hearing losses are usually medically treatable.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed hearing loss consists of a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing losses. Causes are the same for each loss, respectively. There is a difference between the air and bone thresholds and the symbols fall below the 25 dB line.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear. This hearing loss occurs due to damage in the cochlea and its structures, especially the “sensory” hair cells. A sensorineural hearing loss not only includes a loss of loudness, it also could mean a decrease in understanding. Causes of this type of hearing loss include aging, noise, certain diseases of the ear, ototoxic agents, and structural damage. There is rarely medical treatment for this type of hearing loss. With a sensorineural hearing loss, there is no or very little difference between the air and bone conduction thresholds, and the symbols are no longer above the 25 dB line. The further down the graph the symbols are, the greater the hearing loss. Some sensorineural losses fluctuate, and they tend to get worse over time. Hearing aids are the best option to manage sensorineural hearing loss.
Treatment for Hearing Loss
While there is no one “treatment” for hearing loss, there are solutions to successfully manage your hearing loss. Your options depend on the type of hearing loss you have.
The first step is to have a hearing test performed by a certified audiologist, such as Susan Rardin. At Hear Here, our audiologist can diagnose your degree of hearing loss and counsel you on the best options to manage your hearing loss.
If you have conductive hearing loss then you should see an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist to have it medically corrected.
If you have sensorineural hearing loss, then hearing aids may be your best option. We will go over with you the different types of hearing aids there are and help you find one that will help you manage your hearing loss.
Don’t wait, using hearing aids to treat your hearing loss can help you:
- Reconnect with family and friends
- Achieve career goals
- Maintain cognitive function
- Reduce risk of dementia
- Improve your overall health and well-being
If you have any questions about hearing health contact us today!
Hearing and Your Health
Your hearing plays an important role in your overall health and well-being. In fact, did you know that hearing is connected to your brain? We don’t actually hear with our ears; we hear when sound reaches the auditory cortex of the brain. In the brain is where sound is processed into information. Our sense of hearing is a form of stimulation for the brain.
When you can’t hear well because of untreated hearing loss, then your brain doesn’t receive the proper stimulation it needs to remain active and healthy. Over time, this can lead to your brain forgetting certain sounds or frequencies and causing the brain to work harder just to understand a conversation. You may feel tired after talking with other people, that’s because your brain is working hard to simply keep up. After time, this can lead to cognitive decline and even dementia.
It’s important to take care of your hearing by coming in for regular hearing checks and to wear hearing aids at the first signs of hearing loss. Hearing aids will provide your brain with the amplification it needs to hear sounds, giving it the stimulation it needs to be healthy. Don’t let hearing loss affect your mental well-being and overall health, make an appointment with us today.
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911 E 86th St. #35
Indianapolis, IN 46240
Mon – Thurs 9:00AM – 5:00PM
Friday: By Appointment Only
Sat – Sun: Closed