Hearing Loss

Are you one of the millions of people who do not hear as well as they once did? If so, you are certainly not alone!

Statistics reported by Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Better Hearing Institute:

  • 3 in 10 people over age 60 have hearing loss;
  • 1 in 6 baby boomers (ages 41-59), or 14.6% have a hearing problem;
  • 1 in 14 Generation Xers (ages 29-40), or 7.4%, already have hearing loss;
  • At least 1.4 million children (18 or younger) have hearing problems;
  • It is estimated that 3 in 1,000 infants are born with serious to profound hearing loss

Causes for Hearing Loss

Causes of hearing loss include exposure to noise, family history, medicine, aging process, disease, and head trauma.

Types of Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing Loss

What is it?

Sound is not conducted efficiently through the ear canal, eardrum, or tiny bones of the middle ear; resulting in a reduction of loudness perception

What causes this?

Occurs from earwax blocking the ear canal, fluid in the middle ear, middle ear infection, obstructions of the ear canal, perforations (hole) in the eardrum, or disease of one of the three middle ear bones

How is the hearing perceived?

The patient may perceive their ears as full or plugged. The patient may speak softly because they hear their own voice loudly. Crunchy foods may seem very loud and these hearing losses should be evaluated.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

What causes this?

The most common causes of sensorineural hearing loss are age related changes and noise exposure. It may also be the result of disturbance of inner ear circulation, increased inner ear fluid pressure or from disturbances within the hearing nerve.

How is the hearing perceived?

People report they can hear people speaking, but they cannot understand what they are saying. Most common complaint is that “everyone mumbles”.

What are some treatment options?

Two options include hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Mixed Hearing Loss

What is this?

Mixed hearing loss occurs when both a conductive and sensorineural are present.

Central Hearing Loss

What is this?

Various medical issues can cause our central processing of auditory stimuli to breakdown, thus causing a central hearing loss or also known as an auditory processing disorder.

How is the hearing perceived?

People with central hearing loss can hear sound but have difficulty with understanding or processing the sound that was heard.

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