Understanding Hearing Loss

Understanding Hearing Loss

hearing aidBeing able to communicate clearly is essential for a happy and successful life. Impaired hearing can affect your education, employment, and general well-being. Are you among the 1 in 6 Americans with a hearing disability?

The ear consists of three structures: the outer, middle, and inner ear. Most (95%) hearing loss involves the inner ear. This is also known as sensorineural (or nerve damage) hearing loss. Sounds are picked up by inner ear hair cells, and damage to those cells results in permanent inner ear hearing loss.

About 5% of hearing losses involve the middle ear. This is referred conductive hearing loss, and involves the tiny bones (called ossicles) of the middle ear. This usually involves a reduced ability to hear, and can often be rectified through medication or surgery.

Hearing aids and Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) can dramatically enhance the quality of life for most people experiencing hearing loss. Improved family life, a rise in self in self-esteem, and greater independence and security can help you to hear life clearly..

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Causes of Hearing Loss

  • Excessive noise
  • Hereditary factors
  • Trauma or head injury
  • Lyme disease
  • Congenital (birth or prenatal)
  • Aging
  • Ototoxic drugs
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Infections
  • Strokes
  • Excessive ear wax

Effects of Hearing Loss

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irritability with co-workers and with family members
  • Misunderstanding words or parts of conversations
  • Seeing people speak, but hearing only mumbling
  • A frequent ringing, buzzing or roaring in one or both ears (tinnitus)
  • Turning up the TV so you can hear it, and being told by others it’s too loud
  • Constantly asking people to repeat what they’ve said
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Feelings of agitation or insecurity
  • A reduced quality of life
  • Reluctance or refusal to become involved in social situations

What does Hearing Loss sound like?

Normal Hearing.

Mild Hearing Loss