Hearing problems can occur in all parts of the ear. Conductive hearing loss involving the outer or middle ear can sometimes be treated with medication or surgery. However, a good 80 percent of all hearing loss is caused by dysfunctions of, or damage to, the inner ear, also known as sensorineural hearing loss. Some people experience both, while still others are only able to hear out of one ear. Fortunately, thanks to modern advances in technology, today’s hearing aids can compensate for most inner ear-related difficulties and other forms of hearing loss.
No two cases of hearing loss are the same. Most often people with hearing loss are unable to distinguish soft tones and high-pitched sounds and have difficulties hearing whispers, children’s voices, or birdsong. Others can’t hear low tones, like deep voices. Still, others experience difficulties hearing high and low sounds. Whatever your challenges, the first step is an accurate diagnosis of your form of hearing loss, along with an assessment of how severe it is and what can be done to treat it.
Don’t ignore hearing loss.
Hearing loss interferes with your life in many ways you might not realize. The following have all been associated with untreated hearing loss:
- Decreased attention
- Diminished understanding of speech
- Trouble communicating with others
- Diminished memory
- Unwillingness to embrace the unknown
- Decline in job performance
- Lack of acknowledgement by others
- Irritability, stress, depression
- Withdrawal from social life (isolation)
Be proactive with your hearing health by learning more about it. Once you understand how much it can disrupt your enjoyment of life we hope you’ll be ready to do something about it.