Is It Time for a Hearing Test?
Hearing loss is a sudden or gradual decrease in how well you can hear. It is one of the most common conditions affecting older and elderly adults. Having trouble hearing can make it hard to understand and follow a doctor’s advice, to respond to warnings, and to hear doorbells and alarms. It can also make it hard to enjoy talking with friends and family. All of this can be frustrating, embarrassing, and even dangerous.
Do you have trouble hearing in a noisy room?
Do you have more trouble hearing women than men?
Do you ask others to repeat themselves?
Do you avoid going out because you’ll struggle to hear?
Do you notice any ringing or buzzing sounds in either ear?
How We Hear
There are three sections of the ear: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Each section helps move sound through the process of hearing. When a sound occurs, the outer ear feeds it through the ear canal to the eardrum. The noise causes the eardrum to vibrate. This, in turn, causes three little bones inside the middle ear (malleus, incus, stapes) to move. That movement travels into the inner ear (cochlea), where it makes tiny little hairs move in a fluid. These hairs convert the movement to auditory signals, which are then transmitted to the brain to register the sound.
Diagnostic Audiological Hearing Testing
Industrial Hearing Assessment
Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss occurs when sound is blocked in any of the three areas of the ear. The most common cause of hearing loss and one of the most preventable is exposure to loud noises. Infections, both of the ear or elsewhere in the body, are also a major contributor to hearing loss.
In the Outer Ear
In the Middle Ear
In the Inner Ear
Other Causes of Hearing Loss
Presbycusis: Age-related hearing loss, such as having difficulty hearing in noisy places, having trouble understanding what people are saying or not registering softer sounds.
Heredity and Genetic Causes: There is a wide variety of diseases and syndromes that are either genetic or hereditary that can cause hearing loss. Some, like rubella (German measles) occur when a pregnant mother has the disease, which causes hearing loss in the baby. Other, rarer types of hereditary and genetic causes include CHARGE Syndrome, Connexin 26 disorder, Goldenhar Syndrome,Treacher Collins Syndrome, Usher Syndrome, Waardenburg Syndrome and otosclerosis (growth of spongy bone tissue in the middle ear).
Most causes of outer ear hearing loss can be remedied. But problems of the middle and inner ear can lead to permanent hearing loss, which is why it is important to seek medical attention quickly if you are experiencing a problem hearing.
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2319 Atherholt Road Lynchburg, VA 24501