Hearing Loss

If you take your ears for granted, listen up: hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the U.S.  It's also on the rise with nearly 36 million Americans now reporting lost hearing.  When hearing goes, it may affect quality of life and relationships.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

In many cases, hearing fades slowly, its departure goes unnoticed.  You may think that people are mumbling more, your spouse needs to speak up, and the telephone is an inferior communication device.  As long as some sound still comes in, you may assume your hearing is fine.

At the early stage of hearing loss, high-pitched sounds, such as children's and female voices, and the sounds "S" and "F" become harder to decipher.  Other symptoms of hearing loss include:
  • Trouble understanding phone conversations
  • Trouble hearing avoe background noise
  • Trouble following a conversation when more than one person speaks at once
  • Perception that people are not speaking clearly and mumbly
  • Often having to ask people to repeat themselves
  • Frequent complaints by others that the TV is too loud
  • Ringing, roaring, or hissing sounds in the ears, known as tinnitus
Levels of Hearing Loss
  • Hearing loss is classify by degress:  from mild, moderate, severe, or profound.  As the stages progress, the person with hearing loss becomes increasingly cut off from the world of speech and sounds.  The symptoms of these catagories include:
  • Mild hearing loss.  One-on-one conversations are fine but it becomes hard to catch every word in the presence of background noise.
  • Moderate hearing loss.  You often need to ask people to repeat themselves during in-person and telephone conversations.
  • Severe hearing loss.  Following a conversation is almost impossible without a hearing aid.
  • Profound hearing loss.  You cannot hear other people speaking, unless they are extremely loud.  Without a hearing aid or cochlear implant you cannot understand speech.
Types of Hearing Loss
  • Conductive hearing loss - when hearing loss is due to problems with the ear canals, ear drum, or middle ear and its little bones (malleus, incus and stapes).
  • Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) - when hearing loss is due to problems of the inner ear, also know as nerve-related hearing loss.
  • Mixed hearing loss  - refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.  This means that there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve.
Treatment

The only way to know if you have a hearing loss is to have a complete hearing evaluation.  The hearing evaluation determine if you have a hearing loss, the type of loss you have and what steps are needed to proceed with help.  Call our office today (727) 576-6160 to schedule your complimentary hearing evaluation.