HEARING LOSS

UNDERSTANDING HEARING LOSS

    How we hear:

  1. Sound waves enter your outer ear and travel through the ear canal to your eardrum.
  2. Your eardrum vibrates with the incoming sound and sends the vibrations to three tiny bones in your middle ear.
  3. The bones in you middle ear amplify the sound vibrations and send them to your inner ear, or cochlea. The sound vibrations activate tiny hair cells in the inner ear, which in turn release neurochemical messengers.
  4. Your auditory nerve carries this electrical, signal to the brain, which translates it into a sound you can understand.
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Hearing loss is a common problem, affecting people of all ages. There are many different causes of hearing loss, including age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noise, and certain medical conditions. hearing loss can also be caused by damage to the inner ear, middle ear, or outer ear. hearing loss can be mild, moderate, or severe, and it can lead to problems with communication and daily living. Treatment for hearing loss often includes hearing aids or cochlear implants. In some cases, hearing loss can also be surgically corrected. With early diagnosis and treatment, many people with hearing loss are able to live normal, active lives.

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TYPES OF HEARING LOSS

Conductive hearing loss: Caused by any condition or disease that blocks or impedes the transmission of sound through the middle ear resulting in a reduction in the sound level (loudness) that reaches the cochlea. This can be caused by something as simple as earwax build-up! In most cases treatment produces a complete or partial improvement in hearing.
Sensorineural hearing loss:A loss or distortion of sound transmission resulting from damage to the inner ear hair cells or to any of the pathway from the inner ear hair cells or to any of the pathway from the inner ear to the auditory cortex of the brain. This type of hearing loss is usually permanent and irreversible. The treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is amplification through hearing aids.
Mixed hearing loss:This is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

Hearing loss can have a profound effect on a person’s life. It can make it difficult to communicate with others and enjoy the sounds of the world around them. hearing loss can also be isolating, making it hard to connect with others. There are many causes of hearing loss, including noise exposure, age-related hearing loss, and certain medical conditions. Thankfully, there are treatments available that can help people with hearing loss to improve their quality of life. Hearing aids are one option that can help people to hear more clearly. Other treatments, such as cochlear implants, can also be effective in restoring hearing. With the help of modern technology, people with hearing loss can once again enjoy the sounds of the world around them.

Experiencing Hearing Loss?

HOW TO READ AN AUDIOGRAM

The audiogram is a graphical display of the hearing test. The two main components that are graphed are frequency and intensity. These results are displayed for each ear. When you had your hearing tested, the hearing aid practitioner was determining the softest sound you could hear at each specific frequency.


Frequency (or pitch) is measured in Hertz (Hz). Frequencies range from low-pitch to high-pitch and read from left to right on the audiogram. Each vertical line represents a different frequency. The ones used most often during testing are 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000 and 8000 Hz.


Intensity is measured in decibels (dB). The intensity relates to how loud or soft a sound is. Each horizontal line represents a different intensity level. The softest sounds are at the top of the chart and the loudest sounds at the bottom. Each mark on an individual’s hearing test would represent the softest sounds they could hear. The softest intensity tested is typically 0 dB and the loudest is 120 dB.


Right Ear – Left Ear: The right ear is graphed with either a circle or triangle. The left ear is graphed with an X or a square. These responses would all represent the air conduction results of either the right or left ear.


Other symbols seen on the audiogram are obtained during bone conduction testing. The right ear is graphed with < or [. The left ear with > or ]. These responses can help determine whether a hearing loss is sensorineural or conductive.


Speech Testing: Speech discrimination or word recognition ability is scored as a percentage. This score represents how well a list of words could be repeated. The words are presented at a comfortable volume level with no background noise present.

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Degrees of Hearing Loss: Hearing loss is classified in degrees of hearing from normal to profound. This classification is determined by the hearing threshold (or the softest a sound was heard at a specific frequency).

Mild hearing loss (21 – 40dB Hearing Threshold) – Soft noises are not heard. Understanding speech is difficult in a loud environment.

Moderate hearing loss (41 – 65dB Hearing Threshold) – Soft and moderately loud noises are not heard. Understanding speech becomes very difficult if background noise is present.

Severe hearing loss (66 – 90dB Hearing Threshold) – Conversations have to be conducted loudly. Group conversations are possible only with a lot of effort.

Profound hearing loss (91+ dB Hearing Threshold) – Some very loud noises are heard. Without a hearing aid, communication is no longer possible even with intense effort.

IS IT IMPORTANT TO TREAT HEARING LOSS?

Hearing loss is a common problem, especially among older adults. While some degree of hearing loss is normal with age, it can also be caused by exposure to loud noise, certain medical conditions, and injuries. Hearing loss can have a significant impact on quality of life, making it difficult to communicate with others and enjoy everyday activities. Untreated hearing loss can also lead to social isolation, depression, and cognitive decline. Therefore, it is important to seek treatment for hearing loss as soon as possible. There are a variety of treatment options available, including hearing aids, cochlear implants, and speech-language therapy. With early intervention and the right treatment plan, people with hearing loss can improve their communication skills and maintain their quality of life.

Hearing loss can affect the quality of your life. It is better to treat it before it gets worse. Sometimes the damage that is caused can become permanent. Sound waves to your brain are sent by the tiny hair that is in your ears. They will never grow back if they get damaged

We can help you with your hearing loss, as we have a team who know their work well and contribute towards giving you a life where you can hear perfectly.

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