Understanding Your Hearing Loss
Do you suspect that you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss? Beltone is here to help you with the information and solutions you need to overcome your hearing health challenges and live life to the fullest.
If you suspect that you or a loved one have been diagnosed with hearing loss, you’re not alone. Tens of millions of people around the country wear hearing aids to overcome some type of hearing loss.
Beltone is here to help you find the best solutions for your needs. That’s why we’ve gathered the basic information you need to better understand your hearing loss and make the right choice about a solution.
What is hearing loss?
Hearing loss is defined as a perceived reduction in your ability to hear sounds. And because one’s ability to hear sounds involves more than just the visible part of one’s ears, hearing loss could be the result of an issue at any point in the entire hearing process – from the outer ears to the brain.
What are the causes of hearing loss?
Before looking at the main causes of hearing loss, it’s important to note that temporary hearing loss is a real symptom that can occur due to excessive earwax, ear or sinus infections, allergies, and even certain medications. That’s why it’s important to speak with a hearing care professional to determine whether you have a more lasting type of hearing loss.
There are two types of non-temporary hearing loss: conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. Each type has many possible causes.
Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss occurs when the conduction of soundwaves to the inner part of the ear is blocked or diminished. Possible causes of that blockage might include:
- Blockage of the ear canal (like wax or a foreign object)
- Defects of the ear drum (like a hole)
- Issues with the middle part of the ear (like an ear infection or stiffening of the middle ear bones)
In most instances, conductive hearing loss can be reversed with medical intervention.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is the more common type of hearing loss. This type of loss occurs due to issues with the inner part of the ear, such as damage to nerve endings or the nerve itself. In adults, this damage often occurs because of:
- The normal aging process
- Frequent exposure to loud noises
- Mild or severe head trauma
In many cases, sensorineural hearing loss is treated with hearing aids.
What is the personal impact of hearing loss?
Coming to terms with hearing loss can feel overwhelming. However, ignoring or neglecting it can make the condition worse. Hearing loss can have a great impact on one’s family life, socializing and work. The good news is that the solutions for responding to hearing loss are now more powerful and effective than ever before.
What should you do if you suspect you have hearing loss?
As a first step in your journey to better hearing, take Beltone’s Online Hearing Screening. This short exercise will indicate whether or not you have apparent hearing loss. That said, it’s no substitute for a complete examination by a hearing care professional. Beltone offers free consultations at our 1,500 locations nationwide, where an hearing health expert can determine the best next steps for your situation.