First, the facts

Hearing loss impacts more than just your ability to hear and understand others. It can also contribute to other medical conditions that affect one’s health and wellness. The video below shares important information about the impact hearing loss can have on your well-being.


How hearing works


Causes of hearing loss

Hearing loss is invisible and nearly always painless. It can also develop slowly over time. The number one cause of hearing loss is exposure to excessive noise. The normal aging process is a close second – and it starts much earlier than you might think. Changes in hearing begin at age 20, with significant decline in hearing ability occuring as early as 40 years of age.

There are two types of hearing loss: sensorineural and conductive. Here's a quick overview of both: 

Sensorineural is the most common type of hearing loss and is caused by withering of the hair cells in the inner ear due to age, noise damage, or medications. Without these tiny hair cells, the ear cannot detect sounds properly. The vast majority of people with this kind of hearing loss benefit greatly from amplification with hearing aids.

Conductive hearing loss is the result of structural damage to the ear. This kind of loss can be caused by:

  • Impacted wax
  • Perforated eardrum
  • Middle ear effusion (escape of fluid into the middle ear behind the eardrum)
  • Otosclerosis (bones of the middle ear become immobile)
  • Cholesteatoma (accumulation of tissue in the middle ear)
  • Congenital anomalies

Other common causes for hearing loss include:

  • Ototoxic drugs (certain antibiotics)
  • Viral and toxic illness
  • Disturbances of fluid in the inner ear

Effects of hearing loss

Hearing loss affects nearly every aspect of daily living. It can reduce your quality of life, making communication more difficult by:

  • Causing misunderstandings
  • Heightening stress
  • Triggering unnecessary fatigue
  • Isolating you from society and loved ones
  • Straining relationships with your family and friends

Additionally, the National Council for Better Hearing warns that untreated hearing loss can have many symptomatic similarities to Alzheimer's disease. In fact, unbeknownst to many, hearing loss may be a common cause. Recent studies conducted at the University of Washington’s Department of Medicine found that out of 100 patients with Alzheimer’s, 83 patients had a hearing loss. Once fit with hearing aids, a third of those patients were classified with a less severe case of dementia.

How Is Hearing Loss Related To Alzheimer’s?

  • Hearing loss plays a large role in brain function. For those with untreated hearing losses, the reduced ability to hear every day sounds may lead to reduced sound processing activity by the brain. As the brain receives fewer sounds, it becomes less active in processing a person’s surroundings and recognizing speech.  

Symptom assessment

If you suspect you have hearing loss – or if family members say they think you do – a free hearing consultation is the best place to start. Untreated hearing loss can have social, emotional, and even financial consequences if you’re still working. Common signs and symptoms of hearing loss include:

  • Asking others to repeat themselves
  • Turning up the television or radio volume to levels others find too loud
  • Having trouble understanding conversation in noisy places
  • Feeling like other people are always mumbling
  • Having trouble hearing women’s and children’s voices
  • Having trouble hearing on the telephone
  • Feeling more irritable or depressed
  • Avoiding social situations that were once enjoyable
  • Having difficulty following a fast-moving conversation
  • Missing important information in meetings
  • Being told by others that you have hearing loss
  • Memory problems and other cognitive effects

If you experience any of the above, contact us to schedule a free hearing consultation. It’s quick, painless, and will give you the answers you are looking for. Once you know whether or not you have hearing loss, you can make decisions about how to get the most enjoyment out of your life and the relationships with people around you.