Hearing loss. One of the most common health issues in the world is also one of the most treatable.
48 million Americans—or nearly one in five, age 12 and older—experience hearing loss severe enough to hinder communication. If you think you or someone you know has hearing loss, the next step is an easy one – confirm it by seeing a hearing aid professional.
Did you know hearing loss treatment is shown to improve communication, earning power, intimacy and connections in family relationships, emotional stability, physical health and ease of communication? 9 out of 10 hearing aid users report improvements in their quality of life!
Like computers, smartphones and most other high-tech devices, hearing aids have advanced significantly in the past several years. Thanks to more detailed research, faster processing speeds, new features and smarter designs, today’s hearing aids are definitely not your father’s hearing aids. Which is why there is no reason to “just put up” with hearing loss any longer.
The physicians and audiologists at Florida E. N. T. & Allergy have the experience and technology needed to precisely diagnose and measure your degree of hearing loss. If you do have hearing loss that can be helped with hearing aids, our experts will guide you to the best hearing aid choices for your lifestyle and your budget.
Causes of Hearing Loss
- Chronic exposure to loud noises, such as loud music or machinery
- Wax buildup in one or both ears
- Family history
- Fluid buildup due to ear infection
- Foreign object stuck in the ear canal
- Ototoxic medication
- Perforation of the eardrum from illness or injury
- Damage to the tiny bones, or ossicles, of the ear
Types of Hearing Loss
Results from a structural abnormality or blockage of the outer or middle ear.
Results from damage to the inner ear or to the auditory nerve.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Result of both neural and conductive loss affecting both the outer or middle and the inner ear.
Hidden Hearing Loss
Hidden hearing loss (HHL) is characterized by an audiogram that reflects normal hearing sensitivity across all frequency ranges but speech-in-noise tests reveal a deficit. In the case of HHL, the stereocilia are healthy but auditory nerve fibers are damaged, resulting in a compromised connection between the ears and the brain. Patients will report difficulty understanding others. Learn More about Hidden Hearing Loss
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
While hearing loss may affect social interaction and other aspects of daily life, people are often unaware that they have a loss of hearing until others point it out to them. Common signs and symptoms of hearing loss may include:
- Speech is perceived to be muffled
- Inability to understand or decipher conversation
- Sensation that one or both ears are plugged
- Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
- Increased volume on radio or television
Diagnosis of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is diagnosed through a physical examination and various hearing tests may be performed. Tuning fork tests can help to diagnose whether the vibrating parts of the middle ear, including the eardrum, are working properly and whether there is damage to the sensors or nerves of the inner ear. Audiometer tests are used to determine the limits of the individual’s hearing.
Hearing loss can be caused by damage to the inner ear hearing cells, but it can also be caused by sound waves not being properly transmitted into the inner ear. When due to the latter, it is called a conductive hearing loss. It can involve damage of the ear bones, scarring or even fixation of the ear bones. This type of hearing loss is frequently overcome with powerful hearing aids, but many patients are also candidates for surgeries that can allow sound waves to be appropriately transmitted to the inner ear.