Hearing loss becomes more common as we age. If you are over 50 it is important to know some of the early signs of hearing loss, including:
- Family or friends commenting on your hearing.
- People seem to mumble, or you need them to repeat themselves often.
- You have trouble following conversations in groups, especially in places with background noise like Prescott Brewing Company.
- Telephone conversations are difficult to follow.
- Others comment on the volume when you listen to the TV or music.
In addition to the signs above, people with sensorineural hearing loss can also experience:
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Trouble hearing high-pitched noises, like women’s and children’s voices.
What is Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Age-related hearing loss, referred to as presbycusis, is a type of sensorineural hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage in your inner ear. Specifically, damage to the tiny hair cells in your cochlea, known as stereocilia. Once these hair cells are damaged, either by the aging process or another cause, the damage is permanent. Sometimes damage to the auditory nerve can cause sensorineural hearing loss as well.
While there are many causes of sensorineural hearing loss, aging is one of the most common. Other causes include:
- Certain drugs or medications
- Genetic factors
- A blow to the head
- Exposure to loud noise
If you suspect you are experiencing sensorineural hearing loss, it’s important to make an appointment right away to see an audiologist. They can conduct a series of hearing tests to help determine:
- How your ears respond to loud sounds
- The quietest sound you can hear at different pitches
- How well you can hear speech
- The movement capacity of your eardrum
- The type of hearing loss you have
If you do have hearing loss, your audiologist will likely recommend hearing aids. You and your audiologist will work together to figure out what your individual hearing needs are. Together you will discuss the different styles, technology and benefits of each model to find the pair that best fits your lifestyle.
While hearing loss may be a common part of getting older, it doesn’t have to stop you from continuing to do what you love and staying connected to the world around you.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing experts, call Prescott ENT today.