Understanding Possible Causes of Hearing Loss: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Hearing loss, while often a natural sign of aging, has various etiologies. Hearing loss affects approximately 37.5 million Americans aged 18 and over, including more than half of those over age 75.  Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic health condition facing older adults in the U.S.  Whether you are seeking information for yourself or a loved one, it is important to understand what causes hearing loss and how Newtown Hearing Center can help.

Causes of Hearing Loss

There are three primary types of hearing loss, which are based on the part of the ear that is affected, and are defined as:

  • Conductive – involving the outer or middle ear
  • Sensorineural – involving the inner ear
  • Mixed – involving both the middle and inner ear

Aging is a primary cause of hearing loss, called presbycusis, that tends to happen gradually over time.  This type of hearing loss cannot be reversed but there are hearing loss treatment options including prescriptive and over the counter hearing aids. Prescriptive hearing aid devices involve a personalized fitting experience completed by the expertise of an audiologist. A personalized fitting experience considers your individual ear anatomy, hearing levels and perception. Over-the-counter hearing aids involve a self-fitting experience completed by the end-user in their home through the guidance of an app that includes instructions on how to self-fit the technology.

Exposure to loud noise may also contribute to hearing loss. Newtown Hearing recommends preventative options such as custom or instant fitear protection to minimize loud noise exposure, at events such as attending a music concert or recreational hobbies such as hunting. This is especially important if you have regular or repetitive exposure to loud noise and want to prevent hearing loss.

Cerumen impaction, more commonly known as impacted ear wax, may cause hearing loss. Proper examination and removal by a Johns Creek hearing loss professional, will correct much of this condition. Certain medications, especially those commonly used in chemotherapy treatments, may cause hearing loss over time. It is important to monitor your hearing, specifically through high-frequency audiometry testing, if you are undergoing chemotherapy treatment. 

Hearing loss may also be caused by a specific incident such as trauma to the head or an illness. This type of hearing loss may happen suddenly.  If you notice a sudden change in your hearing, please contact your doctor as soon as possible. 

Acknowledging hearing loss symptoms and making an appointment for hearing loss evaluation are the first steps toward hearing better and living life to its fullest. Whether you are looking into hearing loss options for yourself or a loved one, we will help you every step of the way with personalized care, hearing loss prevention and hearing loss treatment solutions.

Signs & Symptoms of Hearing Loss

While this may seem like common sense, many hearing loss symptoms are ignored, which can cause frustration for the person experiencing hearing loss and for their surrounding friends and family.  Hearing loss treatment is available, so be aware of the signs and find help from an audiologist at hearing centers like ours, located in Johns Creek.

The most common symptoms of hearing loss include:

  • Feeling as if “everyone mumbles” or the muffling of speech and other sounds. 
  • Trouble hearing a person close to you while in a crowd or a noisy place.
  • Trouble hearing consonant sounds within words. Ex:  Did they say “knee” or “me”?
  • Asking others to speak up or speak slowly.
  • Asking others to repeat or frequently saying “Huh?”.
  • Consistently turning up the volume of the TV or radio or friends and family complaining that the TV volume is too loud.
  • Being bothered by background noise, such as trouble understanding conversation in a restaurant or group setting.
  • Needing to see people’s faces when they are speaking with you.
  • Ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus.

If you notice several of these symptoms or a sudden change in your hearing, you should seek a Communication Needs Assessment or Hearing Evaluation.   Acknowledging hearing loss symptoms and making an appointment for hearing loss evaluation are the first steps toward hearing better.   Newtown Hearing Center will help you or a loved one every step of the way with personalized care, hearing loss prevention and treatment solutions. 

Treatment Options for Hearing Loss

At Newtown Hearing Center, we offer comprehensive hearing evaluations and personalized treatment options to help you hear your best. It is important to understand someone’s hearing loss and the symptoms they are experiencing to provide appropriate hearing loss treatment.  Our calming and caring environment makes the hearing evaluation process simple and comfortable.

Newton Hearing Center has access to state-of-the-art technology and evaluation tools.  One of our primary hearing loss treatment tools is through ear-level technology, more commonly thought of as hearing aids.  Through our comprehensive evaluation process in Johns Creek, our caring team takes the time to listen to each patient’s concerns and areas of importance for effective communication. Based on our conversation with each patient and their results, including cognition screening, we recommend hearing loss treatment from the myriad of prescriptive technologies offered at Newtown Hearing Center.

There are many types of hearing aids available, and it can be overwhelming if you find yourself doing research online. Every ear is different, every patient processes differently and has unique hearing needs. We help patients determine which technology will be the best fit for their hearing, lifestyle, processing, and cognitive abilities. Some hearing aids connect to smartphones and incorporate Artificial Intelligence, while others are more basic. Hearing aids can be rechargeable or use a traditional zinc air battery.  A patient’s stage of life and how tech savvy they are can play a role in our recommendations regarding hearing loss treatment technology.

It is important to trust your audiologist’s expertise and to have a strong working relationship with your provider, so you are successful with your journey to better hearing. Newtown Hearing Center in Johns Creek cares about helping you live a better life through hearing.