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Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss Facts and Figures

  • More than 31 million people in the United States are affected by hearing loss to some degree
  • 65% of people with hearing loss are younger than 65
  • 1 out of 8 people who are 50 years old suffer from hearing loss in the United States
  • Having diabetes doubles the risk of hearing loss
  • Approximately a BILLION dollars is lost each year by American workers who ignore their hearing problem and hearing aids can cut that in half

Here at DeVore Katz Michaelson ENT and Centerville Hearing Associates we have hearing aids the fit all lifestyles and budgets.  We will take the time to help you select the hearing aid that fits your specific needs.  We work with 100% digital technology and provide our patients with the latest in hearing aid technology.  At DeVore Katz Michaelson ENT and Centerville Hearing Associates you will find the highest level of service along with hearing aids that meet your needs and improve your quality of life.

How We Hear

First, the structure of outer ear captures sound waves and directs them into the ear canal. Then the sound waves travels down the ear canal to the eardrum (a.k.a tympanic membrane). These sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate which then cause three tiny bones in the middle ear to vibrate. One of the structures in the middle ear is called the cochlea.  Within the cochlea, vibrations are turned into electrical impulses and travel to the brain through the auditory nerve. The brain then interprets the impulses and helps us understand what we hear.

Types of Hearing Loss

  1. When there is a problem in the outer and/or middle ear it is called Conductive Hearing Loss.
    Examples include hearing loss from when earwax blocks the passage of sound to the eardrum; an infection that is causing swelling and discharge in the ear that makes it difficult for sound to cause the vibrations necessary to transmit sound.
  2. When there is a problem transmitting soundwaves into electrical impulses in the cochlea, it is called Sensori-neural Hearing Loss
    Examples includes acoustic trauma from excessive exposure to loud noises; tumors that grow and interfere with the conduction
  3. When there is a problem with the auditory nerve and it’s communication with the brain or with the brain itself, it’s called Central Hearing Loss.
    Examples include brain tumors and effects from strokes or other conditions that compromise the blood supply to the auditory nerve.

Causes of Hearing Loss

  • Infections
  • Too much Ear Wax
  • Excessive Noise Exposure
  • Tumors in the ear and/or the brain
  • Head Injury
  • Certain Medications
  • Aging
  • Hereditary

Signs You Might Have Hearing Loss…

  • Do you have a hard time hearing people on the phone?
  • Is it difficult for you to partake in a conversation within a large group or with noise in the background?
  • Do others complain that you have the T.V. on too loud?
  • Are women and children difficult to hear for you?
  • Do you have a hard time hearing high pitched sounds like the doorbell or phone ring?
  • Do you sometimes hear thing incorrectly and respond inappropriately?
  • Are you frequently asking people to repeat themselves?
  • Do you have constant or frequent ringing or buzzing noises in your ears (a.k.a. tinnitus, which can also occur with or without a hearing loss.)

CONSEQUENCES OF UNTREATED HEARING LOSS

The consequences of untreated hearing loss may surprise you.  They go well beyond just not hearing well.  Failing to treat hearing loss can lead to:

  • Depression
  • Social isolation
  • Anger
  • Lower self-esteem
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • An increased risk of dementia

BENEFITS OF HEARING AIDS

  • Hearing aids could delay or prevent dementia by encouraging mental stimulation and avoiding social isolation
  • Those who treat hearing loss compared to those who don’t are more successful in the professional world
  • Hearing aids benefit personal and professional relationships

Hearing aids can prevent or delay the development and progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease