What’s the Most Common Reason for Hearing Loss?

There are many reasons why one might suffer from hearing loss. Most of the time, hearing loss happens gradually, and the symptoms become more pronounced with advanced age. In fact, half of all Americans over 65 have at least a little bit of hearing loss. If you’re concerned about your hearing and believe you might benefit from hearing aid testing in Vancouver, WA, read on for some more information.

Reasons for hearing loss

There are three types of hearing loss, each associated with different parts of the ear. Conductive hearing loss involves the outer or middle ear; sensorineural hearing loss involves the inner ear; and mixed hearing loss involves a combination of those two.

Two of the most common reasons for hearing loss are age, as mentioned, and chronic exposure to loud noises. Here’s a brief explanation of why these two factors affect one’s hearing.

The cochlea is the part of the inner ear that translates sound vibrations into electrical signals that can be understood and interpreted by one’s brain. It uses thousands of tiny hairs to sense vibrations, which are sent to the brain by nerve cells that are attached to each hair. Aging and exposure to loud noise wears down these hairs and nerve cells, which in turn leads them to not be as good at their job.

Ear infections or tumors can cause hearing loss. Should these occur in the middle or outer ear, it can result in a loss of hearing. This is a type of conductive hearing loss.

A ruptured eardrum can also result in hearing loss. This can occur after a loud noise blast, sudden pressure change or poking one’s eardrum with an object.

Another reason for hearing loss is a buildup of earwax. This can block the ear canal and prevent transmission of sound waves; fortunately, this type of hearing loss is not permanent. Removal of the earwax in this case usually leads to restoration of normal hearing function.

Modern solutions and prevention for hearing loss

Unfortunately, most types of hearing loss are irreversible; however, there are many modern solutions to help improve one’s hearing, and a visit to a doctor or hearing specialist for hearing aid testing in Vancouver, WA can be an enlightening experience.

For extreme hearing loss, a cochlear implant may provide a partial return of hearing function. This involves two components: One is an external piece that sits outside of the ear, and one is surgically implanted under the skin behind the ear. While this does not provide a complete return to normal hearing, it may be an option for those for whom hearing aids are no longer helpful.

Of course, the best thing one can do to combat hearing loss is to protect whatever hearing is still remaining. This can be done by wearing earplugs or earmuffs during prolonged exposure to loud noise, taking breaks from being in loud environments and getting a hearing test or hearing aid test.

Since 2005, Vancouver Hearing Aid Center has provided in-store evaluations, repairs, fittings, exams and consultation. If you need hearing aid testing in Vancouver, WA, contact us today.