Learn More About Hearing Loss

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Hearing loss affects many Americans, especially the elderly, though it can happen to anyone for a number of reasons. It’s important not to ignore or accept hearing loss as there are things your Houston hearing specialist can do to help find a solution. Dr. Elly Pourasef likes to call it “lifestyle hearing loss” rather than “age-related hearing loss” as most audiologist will likely agree, there are people who expose themselves to dangerous levels of noise at many different age ranges such as a teenager going hunting without hearing protection, or someone in their 20’s working long hours with construction equipment and inconsistently wearing their hearing protection, or even a different scenario- someone in their 30’s taking medication that might help them fight a disease but will be ototoxic (harmful to the ear), just to name a few. All of these examples are real examples of things that have been seen and have nothing to do with aging.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Common symptoms of hearing loss include finding you are turning up the volume on the TV more than before, being able to hear but having difficulty actually understanding people when you are not facing them, and struggling to understand conversations when there is a lot of background noise.

Types and Causes of Hearing Loss

Types of hearing loss you may experience fall into three general categories:

A conductive hearing loss is where sounds cannot properly get through the outer and middle ear to the inner ear where the impulses to the brain are generated. With a conductive hearing loss, sounds may be perceived as dampened or muffled and unclear. Any obstruction, whether due to infection, impacted wax, fixation of the ear bones, or a hole in the eardrum can cause this.

Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear and the nerve pathways to the brain. A sensorineural hearing loss is the most common cause of permanent hearing loss which is best treated with hearing aids.

Mixed or combination hearing loss is where there is a problem in both the outer or middle ear and the inner ear. In this case, the two problems can combine to make things even worse.

Can I Prevent Hearing Loss?

Some hearing loss occurs as a natural consequence of aging though it is possible to take action to minimize the potential for hearing problems developing. Take care of your ears as much as you can help it by watching medication that may be ototoxic, as well as with hearing conservation practices. If your work or hobby involves exposure to loud noises, obtain appropriate custom-fitted hearing protection from Memorial Hearing.

What Treatment is Available for Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss treatment depends on the exact nature of the problem and the causes of your hearing loss, which can be determined through inspection and testing. Many problems can be fixed or treated effectively (especially in the case of conductive hearing loss), by removing obstructions like impacted wax or curing a bacterial infection. For permanent hearing loss, sophisticated hearing aids that are correctly programmed can go a long way towards restoring function.

If you are experiencing symptoms or want more information about hearing loss, contact Memorial Hearing today to schedule an appointment with a local friendly Houston audiologist.

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