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Understanding Hearing Loss

Understanding Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is described as the total or partial gradual inability to hear sounds. It occurs when a part in your inner ear, nerves that come into the ear, or the part of the brain responsible for the hearing has a problem.

Hearing loss can be caused by various reasons. Among these are diseases and infections such as Chicken Pox, Cytomegalovirus, mumps, meningitis, syphilis, Lyme disease, and diabetes. Other non-disease causes include exposure to excessive noise, wear, and tear of the ear due to old age and foreign objects in the ear.

Common signs of hearing loss include:

  • People sound as though they are mumbling.
  • You can hear people talking but cannot understand them.
  • Hearing conversation in background noise is complicated.
  • Family and friends notice and make mention of hearing loss.
  • Turning the TV volume louder than what others find comfortable.

Ages 65 to 74 have disabling hearing loss.1

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Types of Hearing Loss

Hearing tests are essential the moment you sense any problem with your hearing. Hearing loss often starts at a mild level, and if not detected and corrected early enough, may lead to more extensive and unrecoverable conditions. At Clear Choice Hearing Center, we carry out extensive hearing tests to determine what type of hearing loss you may be suffering from. 

Hearing loss occurs in different forms depending on the cause. The three ways that hearing loss can manifest are Sensorineural, Conductive, and Mixed.

Give us a call at (281) 772-4920 to meet with a hearing care professional at Clear Choice Hearing Center. We will determine your degree of hearing loss through an evaluation and help you on your journey to better hearing.

This type of hearing loss is also known as nerve-related deafness. It occurs when the internal cochlear hair cells are either badly formed at birth or destroyed during an individual’s lifetime. This damage can be caused by the effects of aging, birth-related complications, viral and bacterial infections, exposure to excessive noise, a tumor in the inner ear, brain damage, and hereditary factors. Sensorineural hearing loss is manageable by the use of hearing aids. It is the most common type of hearing loss and is estimated to be responsible for almost 90% of the reported hearing loss cases.

This type occurs in the middle and outer ear, and it happens when vibrations of sound are unable to pass through the outer ear, through the eardrum or middle ear into the inner ear. The causes of conductive hearing loss include an excess buildup of wax in the ear, inflammation due to infection, a defective eardrum, or malfunction of the ossicles. For a person suffering conductive hearing loss, it is difficult to grasp soft sound, and is either treatable through a surgical procedure or pharmaceuticals and can either restore partial or full hearing, depending on the severity.

When you have a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, you are said to have mixed hearing loss. It occurs due to long term infections of the ear and occurs in both the inner and outer ear.

1Based on calculations performed by NIDCD Epidemiology and Statistics Program staff:  (1) using data from the 1999-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); (2) applying the definition of disabling hearing loss used by the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Expert Hearing Loss Team (hearing loss of 35 decibels or more in the better ear, the level at which adults could generally benefit from hearing aids).