So your hearing isn’t what it used to be. Is this just another sign of age or are other factors at play?
In addition to exploring the causes, it is important to understand the types of hearing loss that can occur.
Age, Blockage or Both – What Could Be The Cause of Your hearing loss?
Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem conducting sound waves anywhere on the path from the outer ear to the eardrum to the middle ear. Since it occurs uniformly over all frequencies, sufferers will notice that sounds and voices seem faint or muffled.
Conductive hearing loss can have many causes including
Conductive hearing loss can often be corrected medically or surgically.
Sensorineural hearing loss (also known as SNHL) accounts for approximately 90% of reported hearing loss and is caused by damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. SNHL is typically permanent and varies in its severity to include mild, moderate, moderately-severe, severe, or profound. Most SNHL cases show a gradual deterioration in hearing over years. Sufferers have trouble distinguishing foreground voices against noisy backgrounds, difficulty understanding on the phone and the perception that certain sounds are excessively loud, among other symptoms.
The causes of Sensorineural hearing loss :
The most common cause of SNHL is presbycusis, or age related. As people get older, the structures in the ear become less elastic and tiny hair cells get damaged- reducing their ability to respond to sound waves. One in three people have hearing loss by the age of 65, with the figure rising to one in two by the age of 75. Age-related hearing loss is not preventable or reversible.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the second most prevalent cause of SNHL. Brief exposure to extremely loud noises or prolonged exposure to unsafe levels of noise contribute to cochlear damage that results in hearing loss.
In the majority of cases, SNHL cannot be medically or surgically corrected.
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of the conductive and sensorineural hearing loss- meaning there is damage in the outer or middle ear and the inner ear.
While many try to ignore hearing loss in an attempt to avoid confronting the fact they are aging, it is critical to have your hearing issues examined and tested by an audiologist as early as possible. With early diagnosis, you can minimize the impact hearing loss has on your life and even prevent it from getting worse.
Palm Beach Sleep and Sinus, under the direction of Mark T. Agrama, MD, is dedicated to the medical and surgical treatment of adult sleep, sinus and nose disorders. State of the art diagnostic protocols such as Home Sleep Studies, Laboratory Sleep Studies, Nasal Endoscopy, Video Flexible Laryngoscopy, Video Stroboscopy, Sleep Endoscopy, and CT Scan Imaging help us analyze our patient’s condition.
Our mission is the optimization of Sleep and Sinus health for our patients using a comprehensive and individualized plan designed for long-term success. To discuss your ENT issues, please contact us online or call 561-624-5311.