How Can You Tell If You Have Hearing Loss?
Do any of these apply to you?
- I have trouble understanding what people are saying.
- I often ask people to repeat themselves.
- I have trouble understanding conversations when there’s background noise, for example, at a restaurant or in a busy workplace.
- I avoid social situations because I have trouble following the conversation.
- I turn up the TV and radio to levels that others tell me are loud.
- I have ringing in my ears.
- I hear in one ear better than the other.
- I’ve been told that I have a hearing problem.
If you answered yes to more than one of the above, you might have hearing loss. Don’t let communication problems keep you from enjoying life to the fullest. Call us now to schedule a hearing evaluation.
Types of Hearing Loss
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss makes loud sounds muffled and soft sounds challenging to hear. This happens because sound can’t travel through the outer or middle ear.
The causes of conductive hearing loss are:
- An issue with the formation of your outer or middle ear. You may have a deformed ear canal or a problem with the bones in your middle ear.
- Earwax or another object stuck in your outer ear.
- Swimmers ear or an infection of the ear canal.
- A benign tumor can block the middle or outer ear.
- A hole in your eardrum.
- Eustachian tube malfunction. The eustachian tube connects the middle ear and your nose, and fluids drain through this tube. If the tube isn’t working correctly, the liquid will stay in the middle ear. This can happen if you have a cold or allergies also.
Surgery, treatments, or medication often resolve conductive hearing loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss makes soft sounds challenging to hear, and louder noises might be unclear or muffled. This happens after inner ear damage. This is the most common form of permanent hearing loss.
Causes of sensorineural hearing loss include:
- Medicines that damage hearing
- Genetic hearing loss
- Head trauma
- Exposure to loud noises
- Issues with the formation of the inner ear
Medicine and surgery will not usually fix sensorineural hearing loss. However, hearing aids may help you hear more clearly.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed hearing loss is when conductive and sensorineural hearing loss happens at the same time. There might be damage in the outer, middle, inner ear, or nerve pathway to the brain.
The causes of mixed hearing loss are the same as conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Unfortunately, the two together can make your hearing worse than if it was just one issue. You may need a combination of therapies–including hearing aids–to restore your hearing.
Central hearing loss means that sound waves travel through the ear, but the nerve pathway cannot send the impulses to the brain. Thus the brain hearing centers receive the signals incorrectly. You may be able to detect sound but not understand it.
- Head trauma or injury
- Auditory processing disorders
Central hearing loss is rare. It can sometimes be treated with surgery or medication. Our team of experts can help you discover what type of hearing loss you have and determine a plan of action for you and your lifestyle.
What to Do About Hearing Loss in Tucson
Hearing loss is more common than you might think. It’s estimated that 48 million Americans experience hearing loss, including one in six baby boomers.
Noise, diabetes, or other factors can cause hearing loss. But most often, it’s simply a result of getting older.
Hearing loss typically happens slowly over time. You gradually get used to asking others to repeat themselves, straining to hear in restaurants or business meetings, and turning the TV volume up so high that nobody else can stay in the room.
But you can do better.
Why live with hearing loss? You’ll hurt not only yourself but your family and friends. When you can’t participate in conversations, it frustrates you and your loved ones. Some people become so self-conscious or frustrated by their hearing loss that they stop doing what they love, like playing sports, going to concerts, or even to family gatherings.
If you have hearing loss and live in Tucson, contact our office today to see how the caring and professional staff at El Dorado Hearing can get you started on the path to better hearing today.