From loud noises to an infection and the aging process, many of us will experience hearing loss at some point in our lives. Today, nearly 50 million Americans experience some level of hearing loss. An additional 20 percent of Americans experience Tinnitus, which is a ringing or buzzing the ears. 90 percent of Tinnitus cases are connected to a form of hearing loss.
So, how exactly does hearing loss happen? Hearing loss is the result of damage to the hairs or nerve cells in the cochlea that send sound signals to the brain. There are four distinct types of hearing loss: Conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, Mixed hearing loss (sensorineural and conductive) and neural hearing loss.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is caused by some type of blockage that physically prevents sound from entering your ear. Conductive loss can be caused by:
- Impacted ear wax
- Ruptured ear drum
- Infection or fluid in the ear
- Deformation of the ear
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by a deterioration of the inner ear’s ability to correctly process sound. Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by:
- The aging process
- Medications that damage the auditory system
- Loud Noise
Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Depending on the combination and level of hearing loss, which varies from person-to-person, mixed hearing loss can generally be improved with the treatment of hearing aids.
Neural Hearing Loss
Neural hearing loss is a hearing problem caused by damage to the auditory nerve and can cause a neural hearing loss, which is usually profound and permanent. Hearing loss should always be diagnosed by a hearing health professional, such as an audiologist or an ENT specialist. The professional will test hearing in order to determine the type and severity. An audiogram, which illustrates the findings, is then prepared.
No matter what level or type of hearing loss you may be living with, it is important to remember that hearing loss cannot cure itself. If you’ve been putting off getting hearing loss treatment, remember putting off treatment can have unintended negative consequences on your hearing health. Such consequences could make it harder for you to hear later, even with the help of hearing aids.
Hearing Health Help in Rhode Island
At Physicians Hearing Solutions, located in Warwick and East Providence, Rhode Island, our Audiologists will access each hearing health patient by collecting a case history in order to obtain specific information related to a patient’s tinnitus symptoms. Our Audiologists and specialized National Board-Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist (NBC-HIS) performs a complete hearing evaluation to show each patient’s exact hearing capabilities. Our specialized hearing health team will also help each patient complete questionnaires and forms in order to determine the level of impact tinnitus is having on each patient’s quality of life. Because tinnitus can occur in one or both ears, as well as at differing intensities, it is vital to collect as much patient experience information as possible in order to create a viable resolution.
We want you to know you can trust that you are getting the highest quality hearing healthcare each time you come to see us. Our goal is to improve your quality of life through providing you with the quality hearing healthcare you deserve. We offer complimentary complete Diagnostic Hearing Screenings. Please don’t wait, call today, (401) 921-0181 Warwick, Rhode Island office, (401) 435-5355 East Providence, Rhode Island office.