Which Type of Hearing Loss Are You Experiencing?

Hearing is an essential part of how we cope with the environment around us, and there are many ways it can be compromised, leading to hearing loss. Conditions affecting hearing can be present at birth and develop at any age, and 48 million people in America alone deal with some damage to their hearing. 

Hearing becomes more of a problem as we age, with one out of three people over 65 and two out of three people over 75 struggling to understand what other people are saying. Hearing conditions also affect 5 in every 1,000 newborns and 3 million children in the U.S. have problems with it.

There are many options for treating hearing conditions, but what method we use will be a question of the type of hearing loss you’re coping with. Let’s explore this by looking at hearing loss and the types of loss you can experience. 

Residents of the Kissimmee or Orlando, Florida, area struggling with hearing issues need to see Drs. Wade Han, Elvira Livigni De Armas, and their dedicated medical team at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat, & Plastic Surgery Center. We can help you hear better.

Defining hearing loss

Your ears are a complex organ consisting of three main parts: the outer ear, the visible part that leads to your eardrum; the middle ear, which houses your eardrum and the bones that transfer vibrations from it; and your inner ear that sends the impulses to your brain. Our ears are vital for interpreting sound and maintaining balance, and hearing problems can potentially affect both. Losing hearing makes it harder to follow conversations, follow dialogue when trying to enjoy television, and bad enough hearing problems can lead to feeling isolated.

Depending on the cause of your hearing issues, signs of hearing loss vary, including ringing in the ears (tinnitus), ear pain, headaches, numbness, and weakness. If symptoms also come with quick breathing, chills, vomiting, neck stiffness, mental agitation, and light sensitivity, seek medical attention as soon as possible. 

Types of hearing loss

Here are the different forms of hearing loss you may be experiencing:

Conductive hearing loss (CHL)

This is generally a result of mechanical ear problems, such as earwax buildup, fluid buildup from an ear infection, scarring from repeated ear infections, something stuck in your ear, abnormal bone growth in the ear (otosclerosis), and a hole in the eardrum.

Sensorineural hearing loss (SHL)

This is the term for damage to the nerve endings in your ear which can affect whether or not you hear sound at all. This can stem from loud environments like concerts or construction sites, aging, or it is due to conditions like meningitis, measles, Ménière’s disease, or acoustic neuroma.

Congenital hearing loss

This is when you have issues with your ears diagnosed at birth and it can be due to birth defects or infections from pregnancy.

Hearing loss from injury

Physical damage from head injuries, extremely loud noises, or pressure from being underwater (barotrauma) can lead to hearing loss.

Treatment options for hearing loss are various and can range from basic things like removing wax and antibiotics for infections to surgical solutions to remove objects or repair damage. If your hearing problems are mechanical or due to other damage, make an appointment if you need help. Drs. Han, Livigni de Armas, and their Florida Ear, Nose, Throat, & Plastic Surgery Center team are ready to help you today.

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