Man cupping his ear

Have you been struggling to hear clearly?

You may find it difficult to follow conversations, especially in places with a lot of background noise, and your family has started complaining that you turn up the volume on the TV far too loud. Understanding your hearing loss is the first step to finding the right treatment options that will match your hearing needs and lifestyle, and help you get back to hearing clearly.

Types of Hearing Loss

There are three main types of hearing loss and each will affect your ears differently. Each type has unique causes, and different treatment options
Woman with hearing aid

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss, and 90% of all hearing instrument wearers have sensorineural hearing loss. This hearing loss is caused by damage to the delicate hair cells of the inner ear, or damage to the auditory nerve that connects the ears to the brain. Once the cells in your ear have been damaged, they’re unable to convert sound waves into electrical signals that can be sent to the brain, and you won’t hear all the sounds in your environment. This kind of hearing loss can’t be cured or reversed, but treating sensorineural hearing loss with hearing aids will allow you to hear clearly.

Side view of woman with circles overlaying her ear

Symptoms of sensorineural hearing loss include:

  • A gradual decrease in hearing abilities
  • Tinnitus (a ringing, buzzing, or rushing sound in the ears)
  • Difficulty understanding conversations, especially in background noise. You may be able to hear someone speaking, but you cannot distinguish the specific words.
  • Listening to the television or radio at a higher volume than in the past.
  • Avoiding conversation and social interaction. Social situations can be tiring and stressful if you can’t hear clearly. You may begin to avoid these situations as hearing becomes more difficult.
  • No charge consultation for the hearing aid selection.
Old man holding fingers to ear with hearing loss

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss is caused by problems in the outer or middle ear and ear canal. It occurs when sounds from the outside world cannot reach the inner ear at all. Unlike sensorineural hearing loss, most conductive hearing losses can be medically or surgically treated. Our audiologists are supported by the experience and expertise of the ear-nose-and throat specialists of Otolaryngology Associates, should your hearing loss require medical or surgical solutions.

Mixed Hearing Loss

The third kind of hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss. This hearing loss results from problems in both the middle and the inner ear. You could suffer from sensorineural hearing loss from damaged cells in the inner ear, but also experience the symptoms of conductive hearing loss due to a buildup of earwax in the outer ear.

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