Do you or a loved one have trouble with hearing? Hearing loss can happen so gradually that you don’t realize it has occurred. People with live hearing loss for an average of seven years before seeking assistance. You don’t want to miss out on the important things in your life. Understand how you hear, the signs and causes of hearing loss and modern hearing loss treatments.
How we hear
Sound waves are captured by the outer ear (the pinna is the portion you see) and funneled into the ear canal. At the end of the canal is your eardrum (tympanic membrane). The membrane vibrates with the sound waves and this causes the bones of the middle ear to move. This movement is transmitted to the inner ear. The inner ear contains the cochlea filled with fluid and hair cells. The movement of the fluid and the hair cells stimulates the auditory nerve. It is the auditory nerve that sends electrical impulses to the brain where they are interpreted as sound. It’s a highly complex process.
Unfortunately, at any stage of this process, something can go wrong and cause hearing loss. Whether it is as simple as excess earwax in the canal or as complex as a loss of hair cells in the cochlea, the audiologists at Hearing Health Care are trained to diagnose and treat hearing loss.
Signs of hearing loss
If you think you have problems with hearing, you probably do. You may have hearing loss if you:
- Have trouble hearing in noisy settings like a restaurant or party
- Ask people to repeat themselves
- Think people mumble
- Find conversation on the telephone is difficult
- Suffer from ringing in the ears
- Are told you speak too loudly
- Argue with family members about the volume of the TV or music
Causes of hearing loss
If you have hearing loss, you aren’t alone. According to the National Institutes of Health, 15% of Americans over the age of 18 have some level of hearing loss. Nearly 25% of Americans 65 to 74 have hearing loss. Among those 75 and older, the number rises to 50%. As our population ages, hearing loss is a greater problem. While aging is a common cause of hearing loss, it’s not the only cause. Other causes of hearing loss include:
- Exposure to loud noise
- Ototoxic drugs
- Ear infection
- Damage to tympanic membrane
- Excessive earwax
- Diabetes and other health problems
- Hearing loss treatment
Hearing Health Care provides professional, experienced audiology services dedicated to helping you live with hearing loss.
We will determine why you aren’t hearing the way you should and work with you to develop a treatment plan that restores the richness of sound to your life. If hearing aids are necessary, we’ll help you match the latest in hearing technology with your hearing needs, lifestyle and budget.
Living with hearing loss can increase your risks of dementia. Living with the right hearing technology can prevent isolation and depression, improve your relationships, restore your self-confidence and even help you do your job better. Don’t let hearing loss ruin your ability to communicate and participate fully in life.