According to statistics, 16 percent of adults in the United States have hearing loss. Common causes of hearing loss are noise, aging, gradual buildup of earwax, ear infection, and a ruptured eardrum. When you have hearing loss, you don't hear sounds normally, and you'll have trouble communicating with others.
What is hearing loss?
You have hearing loss when your peripheral auditory system is not functioning normally. The peripheral hearing system is responsible for converting sound energy into electrical impulses that move into the central auditory system up to the brain. So any issue or breakdown in any parts of the peripheral auditory system will cause someone to have hearing loss.
How do we know if someone has hearing loss?
Hearing loss has to be diagnosed by a hearing care professional. During a hearing exam, the doctor should evaluate the person's auditory thresholds. Auditory thresholds are the softest sounds that a person can hear. Someone with hearing loss doesn't have normal auditory thresholds. Instead, problems in the peripheral hearing system cause quiet sounds to be unheard.
It is possible to figure out what part of your peripheral hearing system might be causing a problem. With a comprehensive hearing exam, various tests can reveal which part of the peripheral system is causing the hearing loss. For example, tympanometry tests are done to assess your eardrum's function.
It is essential to get help from a qualified hearing care provider if you suspect a hearing problem. Unfortunately, not every hearing care provider performs the same hearing tests. Not all hearing tests are thorough enough. Some providers only perform a hearing aid candidacy evaluation.
Do you have hearing loss?
The only way to know for sure is to have your hearing evaluated. Knowing what's happening with your hearing system helps us narrow down your options and make recommendations to help you overcome your unique challenges. So if you or someone you know is having trouble hearing, contact us today to schedule an appointment.