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Hearing Loss Information
Hearing loss is a surprisingly common problem that affects the lives of Americans. There is an estimated 20% of the population, or 48 million Americans with hearing loss. After the age of 65, one in three people have some form of hearing loss. There are multiple types of hearing loss that individuals can have.
Types of Hearing Loss
Sensorineural Hearing Loss: This is the most common form of hearing loss and is commonly referred to as hearing loss at the nerve. Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused from noise exposure, genetics, untreated infections, head trauma, and more.
Conductive Hearing Loss: This hearing loss is caused by infection or malformation of the ear. Conductive hearing losses are common with ear infections that cause fluid to stay in the ear. This hearing loss can also result from excess bone growth in the ear, wax build up, or a malformation of the ear canal.
Mixed Hearing Loss: A mixed hearing loss is when you have a combination of both a sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss.
Retrocochlear Hearing Loss: This is a hearing loss that stems from beyond the hearing organ. This can be a lesion of the brainstem or a tumor growing around the nerve.
It is important to have your hearing evaluated by a qualified Audiologist. This will ensure that you receive the proper diagnosis and undergo an appropriate treatment plan.
Degrees of Hearing Loss
There are 5 degrees of hearing loss. Hearing loss can range from normal to profound and will vary by pitch or frequency. Men tend to have lower-pitched voices while women and children have higher-pitched voices. Hearing loss may make understanding these voices more difficult, depending on the individual’s hearing loss.
When to Check Your Hearing
Yearly. If you haven’t had your hearing checked in at least a year, then its time for a check. Hearing loss may seem like it can wait, but there have been a multitude of studies that show early intervention on hearing loss will keep your brain active and help you maintain your ability to understand friends and family. Checking your hearing every year will ensure that your hearing is stable. As you age, it is natural for your hearing to diminish, and tracking this is a very important step.
Preventing Hearing Loss
Avoiding loud situations is the best prevention of hearing loss. The rule of thumb is:
- If the noise around you is loud enough that you need to raise your voice for someone to understand you, then you may be causing damage to your hearing.
This includes lawn mowers, weed wackers, hammering, saws, loud concerts, firing weapons and much more.
Additional Hearing Resources
AAA – American Academy of Audiology
Hearing Loss Association of America
Tinnitus is something that can be very bothersome. Understanding tinnitus is a very important part of the treatment process and MedRx Hearing Center is here to help.
Tinnitus or Ringing in the Ears
Tinnitus or ringing in the ears is a very common issue that many around the world experience. Tinnitus is estimated to affect around 45 million Americans which is over 14% of the US population.
What We Do
- Full Tinnitus Evaluation
- Document Current Levels of Tinnitus
- Create Patient Tinnitus Profiles
- Monitor and Track Changes to Profiles
- Treatment and Counseling
Tinnitus can present itself differently across individuals. The most common form of tinnitus is a high-pitched ringing sound. Tinnitus can also be expressed as a humming, buzzing, pulsating, chirping, song-like, etc noise that is heard subjectively. Rarely, there have been cases where tinnitus has been heard and recorded by clinicians or researchers.
There are a variety of reasons that you may be experiencing tinnitus. This could be from noise exposure, hearing loss, middle ear infections or obstructions, TMJ, head or neck trauma, medications, caffeine, alcohol, tonic water, smoking, and a large number of health disorders.
If you have tinnitus, you should be evaluated by an Audiologist yearly. At MedRx Hearing Center we perform a full evaluation and document the current level of tinnitus. We track any changes noted by patients to create a profile of how it is affecting each patient. MedRx Hearing Center also provides counseling and treatment options to help patients alleviate the stress that can develop from tinnitus.
There are different types of providers available when you are looking for help with your hearing. Understanding what each provider is and does will help you in your decision-making process.
What is an Audiologist?
There are different types of providers available when you are looking for help with your hearing. This section should bring some clarification of what you will find during your search.
Doctor of Audiology, Au.D.
An Audiologist has earned their Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.). This is a specialized doctoral degree that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of hearing and balance related disorders. Audiologists are the most qualified individuals to treat hearing and balance disorders.
Otolaryngologists and Ear, Nose and Throat Physicians, M.D. or D.O.
These are specialized surgeons (M.D. or D.O.) who focus on disorders of the ear that can be corrected surgically. They can manage and surgically treat cancers, tumors, infections and other disorders of the ear. These physicians do not work or specialize in hearing aids used to treat hearing loss. Hearing loss that cannot be corrected surgically will be referred to Audiologists.
Hearing Instrument Specialists, B.C.-H.I.S.
These are individuals who have completed a board certification that allow them to asses hearing and dispense hearing aid products.
See what the Hearing Loss Association of America has to say on this topic.
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