Hearing loss affects about one out of every 10 Americans. For those over 65 years of age, the ratio is nearly one in three. But did you know that there are varying degrees and different types of hearing loss? Some hearing losses can be treated medically while others may be permanent.
Conductive hearing loss is the result of disorders in either the outer or middle ear, which prevent sound from getting to the inner ear. Voices and sounds may sound faint, distorted, or both. Some common causes of this type of hearing loss include infection of the ear canal, fluid in the middle of the ear, and wax build-up. Many kinds of conductive hearing loss problems can be helped, either medically or surgically, if treated promptly.
Sensorineural hearing loss can occur when either the inner ear nerve become damaged or the hair cells within the cochlea do not properly transmit their signals to the brain. Patients may complain that people seem to mumble or that they hear, but do not understand what is being said. The aging process is the most common cause of sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss can also be caused by injury, viral infections, and heredity. Sensorineural heaing loss typically cannot be treated medically. Most often, persons with sensorineural hearing loss obtain hearing aids to improve their hearing.
Mixed hearing loss results in hearing loss to both conductive and sensorineural components.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms of hearing loss, please contact North County Audiologist as soon as possible. To make an appointment, please call (858) 240-4722.