Experiencing hearing loss is not restricted to any one age group and can affect a person at any point in their life. Around 48 million Americans have reported a level of hearing loss, with many more cases of hearing loss worldwide.
Here at Modern Hearing Solutions of Wyoming, our hearing specialist has helped many people overcome their hearing loss and assisted them in rejoining the world of sound.
What Is Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is when an individual loses the ability to hear the complete decibel (dB) range. While most adults lose a certain amount of frequency sensitivity they had as children, those with intact hearing will have a hearing range from 0-140 dB.
With that hearing range, you should be able to hear things such as whispers (20-30 dB) up to fireworks (110-140 dB). However, prolonged exposure to loud sounds over 80 dB can cause damage to an individual’s hearing.
Different Kinds Of Hearing Loss
There is more than one kind of hearing loss. Depending on where the breakdown of hearing occurs, an individual will be diagnosed with a different form of hearing loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
One of the most common forms of hearing loss is sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is usually caused by loud noise exposure which has damaged the delicate sound transmitting hairs in the cochlea.
Currently, the noise damage to the cochlea is irreversible and permanent. However, that does not mean there are no solutions. In fact, when sensorineural hearing loss is present, an individual can have a good deal of their lost hearing restored with the use of the correct hearing aids. With the assistance of hearing aids, sounds can be amplified enough to allow the proper transmission of sound even with the cochlea still damaged.
Conductive Hearing Loss
This type of hearing loss deals with the opposite problem of those who struggle with sensorineural hearing loss; the inner ear is perfect, but the outer and/or middle ear does not operate correctly. Some areas where the sound may become trapped can be due to damaged middle ear bones (hammer, stapes, anvil), eardrum damage or other issues in those areas.
While this type of hearing loss can be present in adults, it is far more common in children as it often the result of a childhood illness or genetics. There are some ways conductive hearing loss can be corrected, such as bone conduction implants, and middle ear or tympanic membrane surgery to repair a faulty eardrum.
Mixed Hearing Loss
It is possible to also have a mixture of these hearing loss types, which is diagnosed as mixed hearing loss. The individual with both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss often need a combination of hearing devices and surgery to regain their hearing.
One of the hearing services we offer at Modern Hearing Solutions of Wyoming is an in-depth hearing evaluation. Our hearing instrument specialist uses technology which allows you to see exactly what is happening in your ear canal, allowing you to be a more active participant in your treatment. The specialist will also perform sound and speech testing so that he can accurately assess your hearing needs.
Hearing Loss Recognition
It can be tough to recognize hearing loss, whether due to denial or other factors. However, there are some definite signs of hearing loss individuals can rely on to indicate that they may be suffering from some degree of hearing loss. A few of the key symptoms are:
Struggle with distorted sounds when in busy locations like restaurants, shopping centers or large groups.
Often find it difficult to follow conversations which involved multiple people.
Find symptoms of tinnitus are increasing and infringing on quality of life.
Difficulty hearing those who speak at higher frequencies, such as young children and women.
Media devices are often at or near max volume.
Hearing Loss Degrees
Hearing loss is usually a gradual process as most people do not often experience catastrophic hearing loss damage. You may have heard of people referring to their hearing loss as mild, severe or other terms.
These terms are referring to the sound level the individual requires to be able to hear a sound. For example, if someone has moderate hearing loss, sounds need to be at least 41-55 dB for the person to hear it.
Reference the chart below for the various degrees of hearing loss and compare it to the dB range above to gain a clear idea what the various hearing loss degrees entail.
Even with profound sensorineural hearing loss, an individual can benefit from hearing aids as there are some which are constructed to help those with the highest degrees of hearing loss.
Risk Factor For Potential Hearing Loss
While sensorineural hearing loss is the most common, it is also the only preventable type of hearing loss. To help you avoid increasing your possibility of hearing loss, be aware of these risk factors.
Cerumen Buildup – A blockage of cerumen (earwax) can occlude the ear and prevent sounds from reaching your eardrums. Wyoming law dictates that individuals go to medical professionals to have excess cerumen removes, so if you need help, our hearing instrument specialist can refer you to the correct professional.
Ruptured Eardrum – Often, a ruptured eardrum is due to improper cerumen removal or inattention. It is possible to have eardrums rupture from concussive sound waves, but work industries where this danger is a potential issue generally issues protective gear. Be sure that you wear any protective ear covering which your employer issues.
Noise Damage – Hearing loss due to noise damage is incredibly common. Careless media listening practices, concert attendance without hearing protection, and other instances lead to gradual noise damage. Be sure to turn down all devices to the lowest comfortable listening level and always take ear protection like earplugs when attending loud events.
Illnesses – A variety of illnesses can affect your hearing, from ear infections which can scar the eardrum to sinus infections which cause suffers to feel occluded (plugged up). Some of the effects of these illnesses are temporary, but if your hearing loss persists after you have recovered, you should consult with our hearing specialist.
Medications – There are over 200 medications which are ototoxic, which means the medication can damage your hearing. Many of these effects are temporary, but ask your physician if the medication they are prescribing is ototoxic.
Genetics – Due to their genetics, some individuals are more at risk for hearing loss. Ask family members to gain a better idea of your family medical history. If hearing loss is common in your family, you can exercise more caution with your hearing and help alleviate some of the genetic factors.
Work With Modern Hearing Solutions To Treat Hearing Loss
Hearing loss does not need to hold you back from enjoying a high quality of life. Here at the Modern Hearing Solutions of Wyoming, we focus on delivering the best care to every individual who enters our hearing clinic.
If you are ready to take control of your hearing again, contact us and set up an appointment today.