If you’ve been needing to turn up the TV volume lately or everyone around you seems to be mumbling, chances are you may have a hearing loss. The sooner you visit a hearing professional, then the sooner treatment can begin.
A hearing professional can identify the type of hearing loss you have. Yes, that’s right – there are actually three different types of hearing loss. Each type has its own set of causes and treatments. Below is a guide to familiarize you with the three types of hearing loss.
1) Conductive Hearing Loss
The good news is that conductive hearing loss can be treated. The problem usually stems from something obstructing the outer or middle ear rather than a problem with the hearing apparatus.
The most common causes can include a build-up of earwax or fluid (most likely from a cold), an ear infection, a tumor, abnormal bone growth (a rare occurrence), and anything else that prevents sound from travelling through the outer and middle ear. You may notice some soreness due to fluid build-up in the middle ear, excessive amounts of earwax, and higher sounds might seem lower than usual.
Treatment involves removing the blockage. You can try to remove the blockage yourself with an earwax remover. However, if you don’t notice an improvement, it is important that you then visit a hearing professional who can help you out.
2) Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Unfortunately, sensorineural hearing loss can’t be treated, but the level of hearing you do have left can be cared for and maintained by your hearing professional. This is because the hearing loss is caused by damage to the hearing apparatus in the inner ear rather than an ear obstruction. Usually the tiny hairs within the cochlea become damaged due to long-term noise exposure, medication, or even old age. When the tiny hairs are damaged, your hearing ability is affected.
You may find that your hearing sounds muffled, and it might be accompanied with ringing in your ears (tinnitus). You may also struggle to understand conversations if you and the other person aren’t facing each other.
Your hearing professional will test your hearing and, if needed, can fit you with hearing aids that are suitable for your unique hearing needs.
3) Mixed Hearing Loss
This type of hearing loss is a combination of conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. Basically, the outer or middle ear and the inner ear are damaged. You will experience a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss symptoms. Treatment can include wax removal, medication, and/or hearing aids.
We’re Here for You
As always, Hear It All is here to help with any questions or concerns you have about your hearing. If your hearing doesn’t seem as good as usual, then give us a call at (512) 357-8000 to book an appointment for a hearing test. We look forward to starting your hearing journey with you.
Lori Cook is a Hearing Aid Specialist with over seventeen years’ experience in the hearing healthcare industry. With a bachelor of arts in psychology and a master of science in social work from the University of Texas systems, Lori has a deep sense of concern both for her patients and her community.