Hearing loss

hearingHearing loss is very common

Approximately 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss.  It is estimated that 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus.

Mental health has been in the spotlight over the last 15 years due increased awareness throughout the population. Mental health is an integral part of overall health and wellness. Mental health includes three parts: emotional, social, and psychological well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act in every situation. It also helps determine how we handle and respond to stress. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood through adulthood.

Anxiety and depression are common human emotions but when they last for 2 weeks or more, this is a chronic condition. Hearing loss that goes untreated can lead to the onset of depression and anxiety. Luckily, getting a yearly hearing exam can help to ward off these symptoms.

Types of Hearing Loss

There are three main types of hearing loss which include Sensorineural, conductive and mixed hearing loss.

Sensorineural hearing loss

This is the most common type of hearing loss which occurs when there is damage to the cells of the inner ear. It is most common in adults and can often be permanent.

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is an obstruction or damage preventing the sound waves from reaching the inner ear. This can result from a blockage, tumor, or ear damage.

Mixed hearing loss

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. It typically occurs when there is damage to the ear over long periods of time.

Degrees of hearing loss

What are the degrees of hearing loss and what should I be able to hear

Normal hearing

Hearing in a range of -10 to 15 dB, you should be able to distinguish specific sounds in a noisy environment.

Mild hearing loss

Hearing from 26 to 40 dB. You may notice decreased ability to hear high frequency sounds and trouble recognizing conversations in noisy environments.

Moderate hearing loss

Hearing between 41 to 55 dB you make notice the inability to distinguish conversation without the use of a hearing aid. Conversations in noisy environments will be very difficult to understand.

Severe hearing loss

Hearing from 71 to 90 dB you will notice the inability to hear conversation even in quiet environments. You may notice the inability to hear common noises such as birds chirping.

Signs of hearing loss

  • Inability to hear on the phone
  • constantly asking people to repeat themselves
  • Having your friends and family tell you the TV is too loud
  • Inability to hear children

Hearing loss causes

  • Normal aging
  • Trauma from loud noises
  • Buildup of cerumen (ear wax) 
  • Tumors
  • Ototoxic medications

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