Not all hearing loss is created equally. In fact, hearing loss affects individuals in many different ways, in varying levels and degrees of severity.

Some symptoms of hearing loss include:

  • Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds, such as children’s voices and women’s voices.
  • Difficulty following conversations when more than one person speaks at once
  • Thinking other people are mumbling or not speaking clearly
  • Misunderstanding what others saying and responding inappropriately
  • Receiving complaints that the TV is too loud
  • Experiencing tinnitus, which is classified as a ringing, roaring or hissing in one or both ears.

If you think you have hearing loss, it is important to visit an audiologist. The audiologist will collect a variety of important information from you, including: your medical history, any medication you’re taking, your occupation and hobbies. This information will allow the audiologist to evaluate your risk for hearing loss. After a series of tests, the audiologist will be able to identify the type and degree of hearing loss you have. The type of hearing loss is defined by the part of the auditory system that is damaged.

Types of hearing loss

There are three types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the outer ear canal to the eardrum.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear, or cochlea, is damaged. Sensorineural hearing loss affects the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain.
  • Mixed hearing loss occurs when someone has both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

Degrees of hearing loss

Audiologists classify hearing loss by degrees:

  • Mild hearing loss: Individuals with mild hearing loss can hear well during one-on-one conversations but have difficulty catching every word during a conversation when there is background noise.
  • Moderate hearing loss: Those with moderate hearing loss need to ask people to repeat themselves during conversations, both in person and on the phone.
  • Severe hearing loss: Individuals with severe hearing loss find following any conversation is impossible without a hearing aid.
  • Profound hearing loss: Individuals with profound hearing loss can only hear people during a conversation if they are shouting. Hearing aids or cochlear implants are vital to ensuring people with profound hearing loss can hear.

If you or someone you love is suffering from hearing loss, don’t put off treatment any longer. Schedule an appointment with an audiologist in your area and find out what they can do for you today!