Getting hearing aids. Should your treatment include hearing aids, the fitting process begins with computerized programming of your hearing aids to match your loss. This is a highly individualized process conducted by our licensed hearing care professionals.
Setting your expectations. It’s important that you understand what hearing aids can and cannot do. While they will not restore your hearing to exactly what it was when you were young, digital hearing aids can significantly improve your ability to hear and understand speech, and to hear other sounds you enjoy including music. We can also adjust them to optimize your hearing in the situations where you need them the most.
Types and causes of hearing loss
In most cases, your hearing healthcare professional can determine the nature of your hearing loss and quite closely pinpoint what caused it. Hearing loss can be either conductive or sensorineural, or both.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is by far the most common hearing loss. The condition refers to problems in the cochlea or auditory nerve. Most are due to deterioration of the tiny outer hair cells that line the cochlea and transmit sound to the auditory nerve and then the brain. This accounts for 90% of permanent hearing losses. Often, it is a natural part of aging, but other causes could be:
Sensorineural hearing loss can’t be corrected medically, but can usually be improved through the use of hearing aids.
Conductive hearing loss
This condition is caused by any obstruction or malfunction of the outer or middle ear that prevents sound waves from reaching the inner ear. Some of the causes of conductive hearing loss can include:
Most conductive losses can be treated medically, but there are times when hearing aids are needed.
Mixed hearing loss
A mixed hearing loss is not as common as other types of hearing loss, but does occur in some segments of the population for a variety of genetic or other reasons.
A mixed hearing loss is a combination of both a sensorineural hearing loss and a conductive hearing loss. Mixed hearing losses can be treated medically for the conductive component in some instances, but the majority of mixed hearing loss is treated through the use of hearing aids.
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