Learn the three types of hearing loss
By the time we reach 65, one in three of us will have a hearing impairment.
Recent research by Dr. Frank Lin at Johns Hopkins University has found that untreated hearing loss increases the incidence of cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease. The brain requires consistent sound stimulation to remain active and healthy. By not wearing hearing aids, people living with hearing loss are missing out on richer experiences, whether they are cultural, professional or social.
The type of hearing loss you have determines which treatments will work best for you. Not all hearing loss is the same. Treatment will depend on the type of hearing loss you have. Audiologists can help.
The type of hearing loss you have depends on what part of your hearing is damaged. There are three basic types or categories: Conductive, Sensorineural and Mixed or Combined.
- Conductive, meanwhile, means sound is not reach the inner ear, usually due to an obstruction or trauma. Conductive hearing loss is typically the result of obstructions in the outer or middle ear — perhaps due to fluid, tumors, earwax or even ear formation. This obstruction prevents sound from getting to the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss can often be treated surgically or with medicine.
- Sensorineural means there is a problem occurring in either the inner ear or the auditory nerve, which delivers sound to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It occurs when the inner ear nerves and hair cells are damaged — perhaps due to age, noise damage or something else. Sensorineural hearing loss impacts the pathways from your inner ear to your brain. Most times, sensorineural hearing loss cannot be corrected medically or surgically, but can be treated and helped with the use of hearing aids.
- Mixed or Combined means the hearing loss is being caused by a combination of the two. Mixed hearing loss is just what it sounds like — a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
What they all have in common is that one’s hearing capacity is, in part, significantly reduced. This has a direct impact on a person’s quality of life, health, and social interactions. What you do to manage your reduced ability to hear depends on its severity. Hearing aids are the currently the best solution to improve your hearing.
This condition can affect many aspects of your life. Communication with family and friends, business meetings, telephone calls, or spending time with your children can become a challenge. In some cases, you can even feel socially isolated. Family and friends, unfortunately, might not fully understand your hearing situation, which can lead to misunderstandings and feelings of frustration. Therefore, it is essential for the people around you – spouse, grandchildren, children, colleagues, friends – to understand what you are experiencing.
Is it temporary or permanent?
It’s not easy to determine precisely when inability to hear is permanent (sometimes leading to deafness), a sign of a disease/disorder, or a symptom that will clear up on its own. It is common for the ear to recover after brief noise trauma. One of the typical causes of permanent loss of hearing is long-term exposure to loud noises. Many other factors, like nutrition and stress levels, also play a role in your hearing health.
Why are hearing aids the best form of treatment?
Hearing is an extremely important aspect of human perception and our overall health. We depend on our hearing to understand speech, listen to the sounds we love, and enjoy spending time with our family. There is no medicine a doctor can prescribe that can cure this kind of hearing disorder. However, the best treatment is the use of hearing aids, without the need of a cochlear implant. Not only does everything around you sound better and clearer, but your general health also feels the positive impact of wearing hearing aids. Today’s devices can even play music directly to your smartphone. When your hearing aid is programmed by a provider, it will never be too loud; thus, you won’t have to worry about further ear damage.
Emergence and causes of hearing loss
Difficulties hearing can fall into three categories: sound conduction, sensorineural, and sound perception.
- Sound conduction: Sound waves can’t enter the inner ear due to a blockage.
- Sensorineural: Involves a physical change of the inner ear or auditory nerve. In some cases, the ; auditory nerve does not send the received signal to the brain properly.
- Sound perception: The brain does not process incoming signals correctly.
Other causes include diseases or certain medications. In the case of medical treatment, it is not necessarily the drug itself but the amount administered. An overdose of painkillers can damage one’s hearing, which can lead to permanent deafness. If an overdose occurred in the past, it is important to know the extent of inner ear damage to find a proper solution.
Consequences of hearing difficulties
Studies show that people feel unhappy and depressed when they decide not to wear hearing aids. Moreover, your concentration, self-esteem, and speech comprehension are significantly reduced.
As with any medical condition, it’s best to know what you “have” before deciding what to do about it. A consultation with a hearing professional can help determine the type, cause and degree of your hearing loss. Click here to find an experienced provider near you.
The physical effects include fatigue, exhaustion, headaches and stress. If you suspect a sign of hearing loss, please call us at +8801755574799, +8801814091509 to schedule a hearing test appointment with a local hearing aid provider in your area.