Hearing Loss

Are you concerned that you may have a hearing loss? It can be hard to detect at first because hearing loss is often very gradual, and your ears and brain make small adjustments every day to help you hear. This means that you may not realize how much hearing loss is affecting you.

Hearing clearly enables you to maintain great relationships with your loved ones, accomplish task at work, and stay safe as you interact with the world around you. Sadly, we often expose our ears to dangerously loud sounds, and don’t treat our hearing loss for several years after we’ve noticed problems in our hearing.

What is Hearing Loss?

To understand hearing loss, its important to learn how normal hearing works. Sound waves enter the outer ear, and are funneled towards the ear canal. When sounds reach the middle ear, they vibrate against the tympanic membrane, or ear drum. This vibrates the ossicles, three tiny bones in the middle ear that focus and transmit this vibration to the inner ear. The inner ear, or cochlea, is a fluid-filled chamber lined with tiny hair cells that sense the vibration in the fluid, translate these vibrations into electrical signals, and send these signals to your brain. The auditory center in your brain processes these signals, and you experience sound.

Hearing loss can affect any part of this process, and damage in the outer, middle, or inner ear will lead to hearing loss.

How Common is Hearing Loss?

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, over 40,000 adults in America struggle to hear. Hearing loss can be a natural part of aging, and half of all seniors over the age of 75 struggle to hear. On average, people wait between 5 to 7 years to treat their hearing loss, and during this time they’ll experience negative mental, emotional, and physical effects including:

  • Trouble hearing in background noise.
  • Difficulty following conversations.
  • Social isolation.
  • Rapid cognitive decline.
  • Increased risk of developing dementia.
  • Higher rates of accident or injury.

Types of Hearing Loss

There are three main types of hearing loss that affect your hearing in different ways.

This hearing loss is the most common form of hearing loss. It can be caused by presbycusis or the natural aging process, as well as by exposure to dangerously loud sounds. In both these cases, the cells in your inner ear are damaged, and your cells can’t detect sound waves, or transmit this information to your brain. With sensorineural hearing loss, you’re more likely to have trouble following speech, struggle with high pitched sounds, and have a hard time hearing in places with a lot of background noise.

Treating Hearing Loss

The most effective treatment options for hearing loss are hearing aids designed to match your unique hearing needs and lifestyle. Treating hearing loss as soon as you notice symptoms will improve your hearing, protect your relationships, and improve your quality of life. At Hearing Centers of Indiana, we have the best hearing aids from the world’s top hearing aid manufacturers, and we’ll help you find the perfect device that will help you hear in social situations, catch every word at work, and maintain your normal routines without straining to hear. Call us today to book a hearing test, and start your journey to clear hearing.

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