Better communication starts with better hearing.
What is Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss is the inability to hear sound in one or both ears. Hearing loss doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t hear any sound, rather sounds may seem muffled, unclear, or fragmented. Often times, those with hearing loss can hear, they just lack clarity to understand conversations.
Hearing loss is incredibly common, affecting 48 million Americans to some degree. Hearing loss is not always the result of aging, sometimes it can be caused by another underlying health condition. Studies have proven that hearing loss can be caused by heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. These conditions affect the blood vessels in your body, often causing them to swell. Because the blood vessels in your ear are so sensitive, the swelling of them due to one of these conditions can cause hearing loss.
Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss often occurs gradually, over the course of a few years. For this reason, it can be difficult to recognize that you have hearing loss because you may have become accustomed to not hearing certain sounds. If you have experienced a combination of the following, then it’s time to schedule an appointment for a hearing check.
Types of Hearing Loss
There are three main types of hearing loss. Sensorineural, conductive, and mixed.
Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the cochlea in the inner ear or damage to the hearing nerve. This damage can occur due to illness, medications, head trauma, or exposure to loud noise. Sensorineural hearing loss can also occur naturally, as a result of the aging process or because of genetics. This type of hearing loss can be successfully managed with hearing aids.
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound cannot be conducted through the outer and middle ear to the inner ear. This is often the result of impacted earwax, fluid in the middle ear, ruptured eardrum, ear infection, allergies, or trauma to the eardrum. Conductive hearing loss is typically treated with surgery or antibiotics.
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive. First the conductive portion would need to be treated by a physician and then we can treat the sensorineural portion with hearing aids.
Hearing and Cognition
We don’t actually hear with our ears; we hear when sound travels through the ear up to the auditory cortex of the brain. Healthy hearing is a crucial part of having an active and healthy brain. When you can’t hear well because of hearing loss, your brain doesn’t receive the proper stimulation it needs. As a result, your brain will work harder to pick up certain sounds that it is missing. Over time this can lead to fatigue, cognitive decline, and even dementia.
Your hearing is important for your communication, overall health, and brain function. The most effective way to prevent cognitive decline and to take care of your health is to wear hearing aids if you have hearing loss. Hearing aids will ensure you are hearing all of the sounds that you have been missing. Contact us today to learn more about how hearing loss may be affecting your cognitive health.
Tinnitus is characterized by ringing, buzzing, whistling, or other noises that originate in the ear or head. The symptoms of tinnitus can last a few seconds to hours at a time. Some people experience temporary tinnitus while others may have a permanent condition. Tinnitus can range from annoying to debilitating. If you are suffering from a ringing in your ears, we can help you.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus itself is not a disease, but rather a symptom of another issue. Tinnitus can be the result of:
- Age-related hearing loss
- Exposure to loud noise
- Earwax buildup
- Meniere’s disease
- Head or neck injuries
At Better Hearing Audiology, our audiologist can help you experience relief from tinnitus, no matter how it was caused.