Understanding Different Types Of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be serious business, whether it’s temporary or permanent, it’s difficult to lose a sense upon which we rely so heavily. There is no universal cause or experience of hearing loss, though the most common route is through the natural aging process. If you feel that you are experiencing a degree of hearing loss, the most sensible next step is to schedule a hearing test with your hearing professional in order to find the best way of intervening.

Conductive Hearing Loss

A rare type of hearing loss is Conductive Hearing Loss. This occurs when there is an obstruction or damage to the outer or middle ear that prevents sound from being conducted to the inner ear. This type of hearing loss has a higher chance of recovery depending upon the cause.

An example of an outer ear damage leading to Conductive Hearing Loss is a wax impaction. While your hearing will surely suffer until the problem is attended to, once the obstruction is removed hearing will most likely return to normal on its own. An inner ear malady that may cause this type of hearing loss is blockages in the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the nose and throat. Again, treating the cause will likely return hearing to normal.

Funnily enough, while this is one of the rarer forms of hearing loss, the way in which hearing is affected is how many people assume all hearing loss is experienced. Because the sensitive inner ear and auditory nerve are undamaged with Conductive Hearing Loss, simply turning up the volume on external devices will solve their hearing difficulty. Of course, accompanying the hearing loss will likely be pain or uncomfortable sensations around the affected ear that make this type of hearing loss easier to diagnose.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when either the tiny hair-like cells of the inner ear or the auditory nerves are damaged. So, what does the experience of more common hearing loss feel like and why is it different from Conductive Hearing Loss? Many people with sensorineural hearing loss report that they can hear people speaking, but not clearly. People who have had perfect hearing their entire lives gradually find that they’re asking people to repeat themselves or enunciate more clearly in order to understand what is being said. It can feel a lot like everyone else should stop mumbling rather than a new development in their hearing capabilities.

Sensorineural hearing loss can affect people of any age and is cited as the cause in about 90% of hearing loss situations which resulted in the wearing of hearing aids. In babies born with this hearing loss, it is most likely due to a genetic syndrome or from an infection passed from mother to fetus inside the womb. The most common causes of sensorineural hearing loss are; age related changes, noise exposure, inner ear blood circulation, inner ear fluid disturbances and problems with the hearing nerve.

In almost all cases, sensorineural hearing loss is irreversible. Hearing aids and cochlear implants are one way that hearing loss such as this can be successfully treated. Normal hearing may never be restored, but a very good simulation is achievable!

Take Care Of Your Hearing Today

If you’ve yet to experience any degree of hearing loss, or if your loss is minimal, then you are reading this at the perfect time. Take proactive steps to ensure that you’re postponing any damage to your delicate hearing system for as long as possible.

Continuously and religiously check the volumes on your devices. In our society, it seems as though there is always a source of external noise turned on around us. The volumes of our phones, televisions, car stereos and laptops can all creep up over time. Choose a conservative volume as your “standard” – hearing care professionals recommend 60% volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time. Make sure that your listening levels don’t slowly move north of that barometer.

Intervene Early

If you’ve noticed changes in your hearing, contact us today at Hearing Spa to schedule a hearing test. If you have a diagnosed degree of hearing loss and are considering hearing aids, well, what are you waiting for? While your hearing capabilities may never return to normal, the rapid decline of your hearing health can be stalled with treatment. For more information, contact us at Hearing Spa of Florida.

Signs of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is cited as one of the most common health problems in the United States. It is a condition that affects at least one third of all people above age 65, with that number almost doubling in the post-75-year-old population. In young children, auditory impairment may present as delayed speech. For adults who’ve lived much of their lives with normal hearing abilities, there are a whole host of other symptoms to look out for.

People seem to be mumbling an awful lot

Does it seem as though everyone around you is mumbling all the time?  If you find you are often asking people to repeat themselves or if ‘What’ is becoming your most used word, you may want to investigate things further. The decline in auditory abilities may be so gradual that you don’t even realize the difficulty might be you! It could be that people are speaking at normal volume and that your own hearing loss at play here. An early sign of hearing loss is when you’re able to hear someone speaking, but have trouble distinguishing what they are saying.

Where’s that buzzing coming from?

Tinnitus is a hearing condition that produces a constant ringing sound (or whistling, buzzing, chirping, humming). The symptoms of tinnitus can take a few different forms, so the sound can be either steady or intermittent. What remains true for tinnitus in nearly all cases is that the sound is subjective, which is to say that only you can hear the noise. Because long exposure to loud sounds is the leading cause of tinnitus, hearing loss is often reported in tandem with this condition, as loud sounds also damage hearing capacities.

But I’ve never heard that faucet drip?

Some people would be overjoyed to skip some of the subtle, repetitive sounds heard around them. Unfortunately, this can be a sign of progressive hearing loss. And while tuning out that dripping faucet or the neighbor’s barking dog might sound like the answer to your prayers, you might be sorry when they’re gone. It’d be a shame to miss an important phone call or visiting friends knocking at your door due to hearing loss. All of these commonplace sounds are taken for granted and we don’t respect the role they play in our lives until they’re no longer available to us.

Turn that thing down!

Does the music being blasted by the teens in your life no longer bother you? You could be getting much more patient and zen, sure. But, a common sign of hearing loss is when we’re being told that our radio or television or even the volume of our own voice is too loud for others.

Turn that thing up!

Does the ringer on your phone and the volume control never quite seem to go high enough? A quick check on the volume levels on our personal devices is a good way to monitor the strength and health of our hearing. When our gadgets at full volume no longer suffice, it may be a sign to investigate for hearing loss.

Three’s a crowd

When hearing loss occurs, conversing in groups beyond one-on-one becomes problematic. You might find that in a group conversation or crowd, hearing and participating in conversation becomes difficult or almost impossible. Differentiating between speakers, not hearing the words of those not seated or placed directly in front of you and trouble understanding or following along with the general conversation are all signs of potential hearing loss.

Working a room

In order to easily participate in conversations, a person with hearing loss could become increasingly controlling in their socializing conditions. Having whomever you’re speaking with directly face you in a well-lit room without a lot of background noise is one way to ensure that you’ll understand nearly every word. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly hard to create these conditions every time you have a conversation. Instead, you might look into having yourself tested for hearing loss.

Getting Tested for Hearing Loss

You have nothing to lose! Over time, hearing loss can become isolating and lonely. If one or more of these signs common to hearing loss are happening to you or around you, contact us at Hearing Spa of Florida. We provide comprehensive hearing tests and will help you on the road to better hearing.

Latest Hearing Loss Articles


Get in touch