Forty-eight million Americans are affected by hearing loss. That’s roughly 1 out of 10 people.
Some of the common signs of hearing loss include needing to increase the TV volume, struggling to follow conversations, and asking others to repeat themselves.
The sooner your hearing loss is treated, the better it is for your future hearing health. Education about hearing healthcare and identifying any problems early is vital to me as an audiologist. Because the longer you wait to see an audiologist, by the time you do seek treatment, your hearing loss can be more challenging to treat with fewer options available.
However, before any treatment can begin, we must first identify the type of hearing loss you have. There are three types, and they each have different methods of treatment.
Below I explain what the different types of hearing loss are, their causes, and their treatment options.
Conductive Hearing Loss
The good news about conductive hearing loss is that most of the causes can be treated and in most cases, it is only a temporary condition. Usually, there is a blockage somewhere between the outer and inner ear. Common causes can include earwax build-up, a ruptured eardrum, an ear infection (a build-up of fluid), or a malformation within the middle ear passageway.
Medication or surgery are the usual treatment options. If these treatment options are unsuccessful, the hearing loss is then referred to as a permanent conductive hearing loss. Hearing aids or middle ear transplants are then further options to explore.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the tiny sensors, which are located inside the cochlea, become damaged. Damaged sensors are unable to accurately convert sounds into the nerve messages that your brain needs to process.
Damage can happen in various ways. Exposure to loud noises is a prevalent cause of sensorineural hearing loss. Other causes can include aging, genetics, illnesses, Meniere’s disease, and head trauma.
If the hearing loss is not treated, it can continue to deteriorate. Unfortunately, hearing loss cannot be reversed. The most common solution is hearing aids. For very severe cases, cochlear implants may be considered.
Mixed Hearing Loss
The third type of hearing loss is known as a mixed hearing loss. The patient has a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Either the outer or middle ear is damaged, and the inner ear or the nerve pathway to the brain is also damaged.
The usual treatment consists of hearing aids, along with medication or surgery.
If you have any worries or concerns about your hearing, I encourage you to contact us for a hearing test today. We will find out the cause of your hearing loss and work with you to provide the best treatment for your circumstances.
Since 1986, the House of Hearing, with 12 convenient northern Utah locations, has helped over 30,000 patients achieve better hearing and, therefore, enriched lives. Contact us today to book yourself in for a hearing test. Simply click here to get started on your journey to better hearing.