As we age, our hearing naturally worsens. Throughout our lifetime, we are exposed to loud noises, whether it be from yard work, movie theaters, or concerts. The result of this exposure is often some type of permanent hearing loss.
There are many factors that affect ear health, including:
- Earwax or fluid buildup
- A punctured eardrum
- Health conditions
- Taking certain medications
Signs of Hearing Loss
Do you ever feel as if you are the person in the room that is always saying “what”? The first step you need to take when deciding whether or not to visit the doctor for an ear checkup is to ask yourself these questions:
- Do I struggle to hear at the dinner table?
- Do I feel restricted or limited by my hearing?
- Do I have difficulty understanding co-workers, clients, or customers?
- Is it hard to understand speech over the phone?
- Am I always asking others to speak loudly or to repeat themselves?
- Do I experience ringing in the ears (tinnitus)?
It is important to ask yourself these questions concerning your hearing to prevent any further hearing loss that may cause you to worsen your conditions.
Types of Hearing Loss
There are three types of hearing loss that can be treated using certain devices or, in some cases, surgery.
- Sensorineural hearing loss: occurs in adults and children and is caused by damage to the inner ear, also referred to as “nerve loss”.
- Conductive hearing loss: occurs when there is damage to the outer ear, ear canal, eardrum, or tiny bones of hearing (ossicles).
- Mixed hearing loss: occurs when there is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. The outer ear or middle ear, as well as the inner ear, are all damaged, which results in a mixed hearing loss.
If you think that you have any type of hearing issue, the best thing you can do is to seek professional advice. Dr. Jack Patel offers two easy ways to schedule appointments: by phone, (219) 300-9156, or online.