Hearing health education.
What is Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss is the inability to clearly hear in one or both ears. Often times, people don’t experience a complete loss of sound, rather words seem unclear or it’s difficult to understand the sounds you can hear. At Ear Works Audiology, it is our goal to help everyone in our community overcome their hearing loss and experience more effective communication.
Hearing Loss Facts
Hearing and Health
Your hearing is deeply connected to your overall health and well-being. When left untreated, hearing loss can have a negative impact on your communication skills, energy levels, and cognitive abilities. Your brain needs your hearing to stay active. When you can’t hear properly due to hearing loss, your brain will forget certain sounds and have to work harder to hear the little it can hear.
Hearing loss is often the result of genetics, age, or loud noise exposure. However, sometimes it can be caused by an underlying health condition, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes. It’s important to visit your primary care physician on a regular basis to catch any of these health conditions early. If you are over the age of 55, we encourage you to visit our hearing clinic for annual hearing screenings.
Signs of Hearing Loss
For many people, hearing loss occurs over the course of a few years, making it difficult to recognize the signs. Often times, a close friend or family member will notice the signs first and may encourage you to have your hearing tested. Some common signs of hearing loss to watch for include:
Types of Hearing Loss
There are three main types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive, and mixed.
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or within the hearing nerve. This type of hearing loss is often due to genetics, age, noise exposure, ototoxic medications, or disease. Sensorineural hearing loss can be successfully managed with hearing aids.
Conductive hearing loss is when sound cannot travel from the outer ear to the inner and middle ear. This is usually due to a build-up of earwax, trauma to the ear, perforated eardrum, or ear infection. Conductive hearing loss can be corrected with antibiotics or surgery.
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. This can happen if someone has sensorineural hearing loss due to genetics in which they would wear hearing aids for amplification and clarity; and they may have a build-up of earwax which can be removed to treat the conductive portion.
The experienced audiologists at Ear Works Audiology will complete an ear exam and hearing evaluation to determine what kind of hearing loss you have and will work with you to create a custom treatment plan.