Hearing loss can present itself very gradually so patients have a lot of time to adapt and conceal their problems from their family, friends, and co-workers.
It can often be hard to identify because of this. Each patient will have different experiences and come from different environments. Unfortunately, we have seen many patients wait too long and cause irreparable damage due to neglect or lack of information.
Only once the problem becomes unbearable do most people seek help. While we can still assist everyone, it’s much more advantageous to identify a problem early on and receive professional treatment at that point.
We want you to have all the information about hearing loss, especially for those who think they are developing a problem. If any of this sounds familiar, please contact us right away.
Types of Hearing Loss Explained
Sensorineural Hearing Loss — This condition occurs in your inner ear where the hair cells that help you hear are damaged. It can be caused by loud noise exposure or aging.
Conductive Hearing Loss — This type occurs when the hearing loss is caused by a problem in your middle ear, such as fluid or a problem with your hearing bones.
Mixed Hearing Loss — This is a combination of the above conditions happening at once. Some people start with one type and then develop the other over time.
High-Frequency Hearing Loss — HFHL is not so much about the loudness being missed; it’s the understanding. High frequencies are where most of your consonant pronunciation is, so patients can sometimes feel like everyone is just mumbling around them.
What Causes These Conditions?
Here are the most common causes of hearing loss:
Being exposed to loud noises over a long period will also develop hearing loss. The CDC defines ‘loud’ as anything above 85 decibels. This is approximately the volume of a lively conversation. Those who work in factories or around heavy machinery are strongly urged to wear hearing protection as often as possible.
Even if you don’t work in a factory, loud noises can still affect your hearing. It can become damaged after one encounter with a loud noise. Some examples are fireworks, gunshots, concerts, and noisy engines. These can all cause hearing damage instantly.
Physical issues can also hinder your hearing. In these cases, treatment is more successful as your hearing is likely to be restored once the obstruction is removed.
I know we don’t want to think about it, but our nerves and immune system begin to falter as we get older. This allows for all types of health issues, with hearing loss being very common. Protect your hearing from a young age to maintain healthy hearing for as long as possible.
Can My Hearing Loss be Restored?
This depends on what type of hearing loss you have. A sensorineural hearing loss means the hearing loss stems from your inner ear, and it is usually permanent and will not get better over time.
Sensorineural hearing loss can be managed, though. Through the use of hearing aids, we can customize them to assist your hearing properly. We can reduce the negative aspects of your hearing and focus only on the positives.
If you have conductive hearing loss, that means something is wrong in the middle ear. Frequently, conductive hearing loss can be corrected with either medication or surgery.
I see many skeptical patients on their first visit. After a short while of using hearing aids, they wonder why they didn’t start sooner.
Common and Effective Treatments
Right now, our best weapons against hearing loss are prevention and prescription hearing aids. We have years of experience prescribing both and are happy to apply any treatment we know will help you.
Hearing aids have come a long way in the past decade. They’re not as big as they were, and the features available now are astounding. Most can be programmed through an app on your phone, and some are so small that they’re practically invisible.
Prevention requires education and awareness, which we work hard to bring to everyone in our Californian communities. Our monthly newsletter contains helpful advice to keep you and your family’s hearing healthy.
How Often Should Your Hearing be Checked?
Any time that you are concerned about your hearing, we recommend that you have it assessed.
Even without concerns, a baseline hearing test should be performed at 50 years of age, and updated tests should be performed annually. If we know how you hear healthy, we have a better chance of keeping it that way.
Scheduling a comprehensive hearing assessment is easy to do either online through our website or over the phone. You can call us any time if you have any more questions about your hearing or that of a loved one.
We are always here to help.