Causes of Hearing Loss
Many people associate hearing loss with aging, and although it is by far the most common cause, there are many other causes of hearing impairment. Hearing loss may be congenital and be caused by factors such as illness during pregnancy and complications during birth. For these types of hearing loss, hearing aids may often be a help. Other types of hearing loss are hereditary and genetically determined. These types may progress gradually and require more powerful hearing aids.
Conductive Hearing Loss
If the loss can be localized to the outer or middle ear, the hearing loss is conductive. The specific hearing loss can originate at the pinna (visible ear), ear canal, eardrum, middle ear bones or any combination of these. Contact Us to schedule an appointment today.
Presbycusis (Related to Aging)
Hearing loss related to aging is the most common type of hearing impairment. It is caused by the gradual degeneration of hair cells in the inner ear, which is a common part of the aging process. In the inner ear there are sensory hair cells that each react to different tones. Some react to high frequency tones (treble) and some to low frequency tones (bass).
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
When the loss is caused by a problem involving the inner ear (cochlea/auditory nerve), it is considered a sensorineural hearing loss. This type of loss occurs when the hair cells, neural fibers or their connections to the cochlea are damaged or do not function optimally.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss
Noise induced hearing loss, or acoustic trauma, is damage to hearing caused by exposure to loud noise. An extremely loud brief noise, such as an explosion or firecracker at close distance, can cause permanent hearing loss. Long term exposure to noise or loud sound, such as factory noise or loud music, can also lead to permanent loss.