Hearing Loss FAQ
We try to be very accessible to our patients, explaining even the most complicated subjects in language that everyone can understand. Hearing is an incredibly complicated process; the ear is much more complicated than the eye. But understanding the science of what happens when you hear, and what your hearing loss means, doesn’t have to be hard. It’s our job to answer all your questions and make sure you are comfortable about your own hearing treatment.
We’ve gathered some of the most common questions we hear from our patients, both about the science of hearing and what you can expect from your hearing aids.
What is hearing loss?
Hearing loss means that you are no longer able to hear sounds as clearly as you used to, and you may not be able to hear some sounds at all without help. There are three main kinds of hearing loss:
- Conductive hearing loss means something is preventing your outer or middle ear or ear canal from relaying sound properly. It might be caused by earwax, or by fluid buildup due to an ear infection or other illness.
- Sensorineural hearing loss is most commonly caused by a lifetime of wear-and-tear (“age-related hearing loss”) and exposure to loud sounds. Sometimes this type of hearing loss is caused by certain medications and infections.
- Mixed hearing loss is a combination of the two. Usually we start by treating the conductive hearing loss medically and then treating the sensorineural hearing loss with a hearing aid.
Why is hearing protection so important?
The best way to treat hearing loss is to prevent it from happening at all! Exposure to loud sounds can permanently damage your hearing, especially over time. And there’s no reason to take that risk. We can help you with custom hearing protection, such as custom earplugs, that are comfortable and highly effective. Even musicians and people who love listening to live music can choose custom-fit earplugs that don’t muffle the sound, they just reduce what you’re hearing to a safe volume.
What are the signs of hearing loss?
Generally, if you’ve started wondering if you might have hearing loss, it’s time to get it tested for your own peace of mind. And if you’ve noticed any of these signs, you might have hearing loss:
- It seems like people are mumbling or not speaking as clearly as they used to.
- You’re turning the TV up louder than other people.
- You have to ask other people to repeat themselves often, or you’ve stopped even asking for them to repeat themselves and instead you smile and nod and hope for the best.
- Your friends or family members say you seem like you’re not hearing well.
- You think you hear what is being said, only to find that you’ve misheard several important words.