A Quick Look At Hearing Loss

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The Scoop on Hearing Loss

If you’re finding that it’s harder to hear what’s going on around you, you’re not alone. More than 22 million people in the United States suffer from some degree of noticeable hearing loss. Not all hearing loss is curable, but much of it can be helped.

  • Do you have difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds such as telephone dial tones or watch alarms?
  • Do you have trouble hearing conversations in restaurants, theaters and other public places?
  • Do you often ask others to repeat themselves?
  • Do you turn up the volume on the television or radio even when those around you seem to have no trouble hearing?
  • If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time to visit an audiologist.

Hearing loss generally falls into two categories:

  • Conductive loss is caused by injury to or problems with the bones, eardrum or membranes within the ear. It usually is treated surgically or medically and often includes the use of hearing aids.
  • Sensorineural loss, or nerve deafness, is the most common form of hearing loss, caused by damage to the nerves of the inner ear. Although it’s not curable, it often can be helped with hearing aids. In fact, nearly all hearing aid wearers have nerve deafness.

Most hearing loss is associated with aging, as many baby boomers are beginning to learn. Protect your hearing by avoiding prolonged exposure to high decibels, and take it easy when using earphones.

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