Factors of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be triggered by various factors which result in any part of the ear not working the way it should. This condition is the third most common health problem in the United States and it can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and relationships.
In the United States, around 15 percent of people aged 18 and older report some level of hearing loss.
Fortunately, there are proven and tested solutions to hearing loss, one of which are hearing aids. Getting your hearing tested or suspecting that you might have hearing loss is not something to be ashamed of. By getting the right diagnosis early on, you can know more about the causes, symptoms, treatments for hearing loss.
Pinnacle Hearing aims to empower the Arkansas community with knowledge and correct information about hearing health. We want to educate our clients about hearing loss – how it affects quality of life and what kind of solutions are available.
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Hearing Loss Symptoms
Symptoms of hearing loss may vary depending on the type, cause, and degree. People with age-related hearing loss typically experience high-frequency hearing loss. Higher-pitched sounds, like women’s voices or children’s laughter, may be more difficult to hear.
People who have hearing loss may experience any or all of the following:
- Difficulty understanding conversations
- A perception of hearing but not fully understanding
- Turning the volume of TVs or speakers higher than what others in the room require
- Often asking others to repeat themselves
- Avoiding social gatherings
- Feeling exhausted after talking with family, friends and workmates
- Increased difficulty communicating in noisy environments including restaurants, parties, group meetings, church, etc.
- Experiencing tinnitus ringing and/or buzzing in your ear(s)
Types of Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is known to be the most common type of hearing loss. This condition is permanent and caused by a multitude of conditions that damage tiny hair cells lining the auditory nerve or the inner ear.
The auditory nerve is an important part of the ear because it carries the essential information related to loudness, pitch, and meaning of sounds to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss may result in difficulty understanding speech or sound even though it’s loud enough to be heard.
Conductive hearing loss
A person with conductive hearing loss may either have a mechanical problem in the outer or middle ear or an obstruction in the ear canal (impacted earwax).
While conductive hearing loss can become permanent, in most cases, it can be temporary and can be treated with medications. Conductive hearing loss may also be caused by an ear infection, specifically in the middle ear.
Middle ear infections can trigger fluid buildup which can affect the movement of the eardrum and the tiny bones attached to it.
Mixed hearing loss
This condition occurs when a person is diagnosed with both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
Common Hearing Loss Questions
How is hearing loss tested?
Hearing tests are performed to rule out or diagnose hearing loss. Hearing tests are painless and can be done in less than thirty minutes.
At Pinnacle Hearing, we will begin the evaluation by conducting a thorough medical history and background check. There are many types of hearing tests to evaluate different parts of the auditory system. There are also specialized hearing tests for toddlers and infants.
Most hearing tests are performed in a sound-treated room or soundproof booth. A visual exam of the eardrum and the ear canal will be done using an otoscope or a video otoscope. During this step, we will check if there is something physically obstructing the ear pathway that may contribute to hearing loss.
What happens during a hearing test?
Typically, you will be asked to listen to various tones and indicate the softest ones you can hear by raising your hand or pushing a button. This is called pure tone audiometry and plays a big part in determining how much hearing is lost and what specific speech frequencies are most affected.
You may also be asked to listen to and repeat certain words. This is called a speech-language test and can determine how well you pick-up and understand speech and conversation at different audio levels.
What causes hearing loss?
There are a lot of things to factor in when trying to get down to the root cause of hearing loss. Determining the root cause is essential in getting the right treatment and intervention.
Any of the situations below can increase a person’s risk in developing hearing loss:
- Frequent exposure to excessively loud noises (loud machinery, gunfire, etc.)
- Being over 60 years old increases one’s risk to get presbycusis or age-related hearing loss
- Having a family history of genetic disorders related to hearing loss
- Certain pharmaceutical drugs
- Trauma or injury to the head
- Certain illnesses including Meniere’s disease, otosclerosis or autoimmune disease
- Acoustic neuroma
In most cases, hearing loss can be quite difficult to detect by yourself in the early stages because it happens ever so gradually. If you notice that a certain sound or pitch is not as clear or as loud as it used to, it’s time to get your hearing tested. The earlier you get diagnosed, the earlier you can receive intervention.
Hearing Loss Treatments Arkansas
Is there a medicine that can treat hearing loss? No.
Hearing loss is not curable; however, it is almost always treatable and manageable. Audiologists play a big role in the success of your hearing loss treatments.
Creating and implementing the right treatment plan is a team effort between you and your audiologist. In creating hearing solutions, the following factors will be taken into consideration:
- Type of hearing loss
- Severity of hearing loss
- Cause (if known)
- Your lifestyle
- Your age and your communication needs
- Your cosmetic preferences
- Your budget
Pinnacle Hearing is committed to giving the best hearing care by using the latest technology and advancements to improve not only hearing, but the overall quality of life of our patients.
Our support goes beyond the four corners of our clinic. When you choose Pinnacle Hearing to manage your hearing loss, we make sure to give you counselling and the necessary information on how to maximize the benefits, maintain and care for your hearing devices.
We are HEAR for you
Do You Qualify For Hearing Aid Assistance?
Rise above hearing loss with the right team and effective hearing treatments. Hearing loss may be a disability, but with the right treatment plan, it’s not difficult to thrive and live your best life with this condition. Pinnace Hearing will be with you at every step of your journey to better hearing. With our world-class technology and the expertise of our audiologist, you are guaranteed to receive the best hearing healthcare in Arkansas – from evaluation, hearing aid selection, fitting, programming and device adjustments.
Don’t spend another day struggling with hearing loss. Call us today to schedule an appointment!