Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the U.S. (Masterson 2012). So, it’s always a good time to check in with yourself and assess your hearing. Early detection can help you avoid depression, alert you to any other existing health problems, and give you peace of mind about your overall health.
Now that you know how important it is to take agency over your hearing health, it’s time to unpack the major types of hearing loss and what symptoms you can look out for.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss is the most common type of permanent hearing loss. It occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the actual hearing nerve. This means that soft sounds can be hard to hear, and louder sounds appear muffled. How does it happen? Sensorineural Hearing Loss can be caused by aging, from loud noises, disease, or drugs. To treat this, most doctors recommend a hearing aid to get your hearing back to full potential.
Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss is when hearing loss occurs in a single instant or over the course of a few days. It can happen from a deformity, head injury, or a hidden neurologic condition. No matter the cause, it’s important to seek medical help as quickly as possible if you experience this type of hearing loss.
Conductive Hearing Loss happens when there is blockage (from earwax or a foreign object) and the sound waves are unable to carry through the entire ear. This makes louder sounds muffled and quiet noises very hard to detect. It can be treated surgically if there is a blockage in the ear, or with a physical exam by a hearing expert, and the wax can be removed to restore hearing.
Mixed Hearing Loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. This type of hearing loss can be hard to pinpoint without the help of a professional. Ask yourself if you have suddenly had trouble conducting conversations with friends or family, have experienced a head injury recently, or have been feeling a bit under the weather as an infection can also cause this type of hearing loss.
If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of the different types of hearing loss, early detection is the first and best step to treatment. Hearing aid technology is growing faster than ever, and in many instances your audiologist will explain your treatment options. If you are in the South Florida area and have questions about your hearing health, contact the experts at New Generation Hearing Centers!