Hearing

This website uses information supplied from the AAO-HNS.

Nearly 30 million Americans have impaired hearing. The most common cause of hearing loss in children is otitis media. For the elderly, the largest group affected, excessive noise, drugs, toxins, and heredity are the most frequent contributing factors.

Take this self-test by answering all of the following questions.

  1. Do you have trouble listening on the phone?
     

  2. Do you have trouble hearing in noisy environments such as restaurants, parties, or crowds of people?
     

  3. Do you have difficulty hearing at normal conversation levels?
     

  4. Do you read people’s lips as they speak to you?
     

  5. Do you misunderstand people and/or have to ask people to repeat themselves?
     

  6. Do friends and family members complain of the T.V. and/or radio being too loud?
     

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is time for a professional evaluation of your hearing sensitivity.

There are three different types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed.
 

  1. Conductive hearing losses are often medically treated hearing losses such as ear infections, perforated eardrums, impacted ear wax, or fleshy or bony growths in the ear. Most of the time, certain medications can be prescribed or surgical procedures can be performed to correct these issues.
     

  2. Sensorineural hearing losses are permanent hearing losses where the nerve has been damaged. These losses can be caused by noise exposure, ototoxic medications, chemotherapeutic agents, or simply the natural aging process. For sensorineural hearing losses, the best solution is amplification through the use of hearing aids.
     

  3. Mixed hearing losses are a combination of the two. Even though you may be able to medically treat one aspect of the hearing loss, there may still be some permanent nerve damage.

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