Hearing Loss

Around 430 million people in the world have hearing loss.

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What Causes Hearing Loss?

Although the most common cause of hearing loss is age, it can be caused by many factors. Hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the hearing nerve or to the hair cells in the inner ear responsible for hearing. Causes often include:

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Many cases of hearing loss are due to age and for this reason it can be difficult to recognize the signs right away. If you have noticed any of the following symptoms, it’s time to have a hearing check.

Types of Hearing Loss

Everyone experiences hearing loss differently. There are two main types of hearing loss: sensorineural and conductive.

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type and effects the most people. This occurs when there is damage to the hair cells in the inner ear – which are responsible for hearing – or due to a problem with the auditory nerve. Common causes include age, genetics, ototoxic medications, underlying health conditions, or head trauma. This type of hearing loss is not reversible but can be managed with hearing aids.

Conductive hearing loss is less common and occurs due to an obstruction or issue with the outer/middle ear transmitting sound to the inner ear. Causes include ear infection, earwax impaction, ruptured eardrum, or non-cancerous growths. This type of hearing loss can be treated by a medical professional.

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Hearing and Health

Hearing plays an integral role in overall health and well-being. When left untreated, hearing loss can have negative impacts on communication, relationships, balance, and cognition. It’s important to manage hearing loss at the first signs to keep your speech comprehension good and your brain healthy.

Studies have indicated that untreated hearing loss is linked to a greater risk of dementia. This is because our brain relies on hearing ability to hear the sounds around us. When you can’t hear well, your brain misses out on certain sound signals and has to work harder to hear the little it can. This can lead to atrophy, listening fatigue, and forgetfulness. To keep your brain healthy, it’s important to schedule regular hearing screenings, especially if you are over the age of 55.

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Have you ever heard a buzzing sound in your ears when there is no external noise present? Have you experienced ringing in the ears after a concert? You’re not alone. These phantom sounds are called tinnitus and almost everyone experiences the symptoms at some point.

Tinnitus affects everyone differently. Some people may only hear these phantom sounds occasionally while others hear them constantly. If tinnitus is affecting your quality of life, contact us for an appointment. We offer tinnitus maskers and hearing aids that can help alleviate your symptoms. Although these management options won’t stop ringing in the ears completely, they will greatly reduce the perception of tinnitus.