Hearing loss is a common health condition affecting millions of Americans in all age groups. It occurs when any part of the ear is not working the way it should. This condition can range from mild to severe. The loss can be caused by exposure to harmful noise levels, aging, illness, certain medications or you can be born with it. Depending on the cause, the loss may not be reversible.
There are three types of hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss occurs when the ear has a problem carrying sound at any point along the route from the outer ear to the middle ear. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or nerve pathways that sense sound and send it to the brain. The third type of hearing loss is complex, which a combination of both conductive and sensorineural.
Symptoms of hearing loss include:
- Sounds being muffled or garbled
- Difficulty understanding words especially in crowded situations
- Frequently asking speakers to repeat their words
- Turning up the volume when watching television or listening to music
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Withdrawal from social situations
Assessing Your Hearing Loss
Though loss affect millions of people, there is no one way to treat it. To decide the best treatment for you, it’s recommended that you speak with your Laguna Niguel audiologist to determine the cause, degree of your loss, and to discuss options for treatment.