Hearing Loss FAQs

What is a Hearing Health Specialist?

A Hearing Health Specialist is professional (an audiologist or a Board-Certified hearing aid specialist) who can examine and evaluate your level of hearing loss, assess your tinnitus, and provide reliable advice on what hearing aid will match your unique hearing loss, lifestyle, and hearing needs. They treat hearing loss and are able to adjust hearing aids so that you’ll have the best in comfortable fit. They also calibrate your devices to match your exact hearing loss, so you’ll be able to hear clearly in every listening environment. Hearing Health Specialists can also provide custom hearing protection to ensure you’re staying safe during work and leisure activities.


What Are the Signs of Hearing Loss?

If you are concerned you might have hearing loss, recognizing the signs of hearing loss will help you monitor your hearing health, and seek treatment the moment your hearing changes. Common signs of hearing loss include difficulty following speech, especially in places with a lot of competing background noise. Those with hearing loss will often avoid meeting friends in crowded places, since all that extra noise makes it especially challenging to hear. Another sign of hearing loss is struggling to hear on the phone, and turning up the volume on the TV or radio to try to understand what’s been said. If you have hearing loss, you might feel that everyone around you is mumbling, and ask people to repeat themselves often. When was the last time you heard birds chirping outside, and do you often miss the doorbell, or the ringing of the phone? These are all common signs of hearing loss, and you should get your hearing tested.

What Leads to Hearing Loss?

If your hearing isn’t as sharp as it once was, there are a few factors that could be contributing to your hearing loss. One of the most common causes of hearing loss is age, or presbycusis, and it affects up to half of all seniors over the age of 75. As your ears go through life, the cells in the ear experience a lot of wear and tear, and as you age this eventually leads to cell death and hearing loss. Hearing loss is also caused by noise, and noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is extremely common. When you’re exposed to loud noise, either one very loud noise, or exposure to noise over time, the cells in your inner ear will be damaged, and this leads to hearing loss, particularly in high frequency sounds. Other causes of hearing loss include genetic factors, illness, infection, injury, or certain medications.

What are the Different Types of Hearing Loss?

There are three types of hearing loss, and the hearing loss you have will determine what kind of treatment you need. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common hearing loss, and it’s caused by damage to the cells in your inner ear. When you’re exposed to dangerously loud sounds, or even experience the wear and tear of daily life, the cells in your ear are damaged and die, and you experience hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss is caused by damaged or blockage to the outer or middle ear. Due to illness, injury, or infection, sounds aren’t able to reach the inner ear, and sounds never make it to your ears. The final hearing loss is mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.

What is a Hearing Test?

If you think you might have hearing loss it’s important to get a hearing test as soon as possible. This comprehensive test will show you exactly what sounds you can and can’t hear. During the hearing test, you’ll be asked questions about your medical history, as well as your lifestyle, to determine what kind of treatment will work best for you. The hearing test includes a non-invasive visual exam to check for any signs of infection, injury, or build-up of earwax that could be affecting your hearing. Finally, your hearing will be tested to determine what range of sounds you are able to hear, and at what volume. These results are displayed on an audiogram, and you’ll get a clear picture of your hearing health.

At Palm Beach Hearing Associates, we are here to answer your questions about your hearing health. Contact us today to learn more.