If you strain to hear conversations, frequently ask for words to be repeated and often misunderstand what people are saying, you may have a hearing problem.

HEARING LOSS

Do you think you have a hearing problem?

  • Do you commonly strain to hear conversations?
  • Do you frequently ask for words to be repeated?
  • Do you have problems hearing the doorbell or telephone?
  • Do you misunderstand what others are saying or answer questions inappropriately?
  • Do people often sound as though they’re speaking too softly?
  • Has someone close to you mentioned that you might have a problem with your hearing?
  • Do you turn up the television or radio louder than others would prefer?
  • Do you remove yourself from conversations or social situations because it is difficult to hear what is being said?
  • When you are socializing, does background noise bother you?
Do you frequently ask for words to be repeated?
Do you have problems hearing the doorbell or telephone?
Do you misunderstand what others are saying or answer questions inappropriately?
Do people often sound as though they’re speaking too softly?
Has someone close to you mentioned that you might have a problem with your hearing?
Do you turn up the television or radio louder than others would prefer?
Do you remove yourself from conversations or social situations because it is difficult to hear what is being said?
When you are socializing, does background noise bother you?

Hearing is determined by the audiogram.  Various tones are presented to each ear, and you will indicate whether each tone is heard or not. Each ear is tested independently at various tones.  The degree of hearing is calculated in decibels (dB) of hearing loss.  Normal hearing is at least 20 dB or better.  A mild loss is 20-40 dB, moderate loss is 40-60 dB, and severe loss is 60-80 dB.  Profound loss, or near deafness, is 80 dB and beyond.  Hearing loss may be divided into two types: conductive and sensorineural.

A conductive hearing loss is due to abnormalities of the ear canal, eardrum, or middle ear structures, which block the conduction of sound into the inner ear. Therefore, wax in the ear, a hole in the eardrum, or fluid behind the eardrum may cause conductive hearing loss.  Conductive hearing loss is usually treatable and may resolve completely.

In contrast, sensorineural hearing loss, or nerve hearing loss, is due to problems with the inner ear or with the nerve connecting the inner ear to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss may not be correctable, and is often permanent.  It worsens with age, and is common in the elderly.  However, sensorineural hearing loss can be associated with birth trauma, neurologic disease, trauma to the head, as well as certain medications and toxins.  Sensorineural hearing loss is treated with hearing aids.

Hearing Aids

If sensorineural hearing loss is present, then hearing aids will be advocated.  It is important to understand that hearing aids do not “give you your hearing back”. They merely amplify external sounds to help boost the hearing that still remains.

What if I have an abrupt change in hearing?

Abrupt changes in hearing are considered medical emergencies.   If hearing suddenly changes, you should be seen within twenty-four hours in the ENT clinic. If acute or sudden hearing loss does occur, this will be confirmed by a hearing test.  You will be placed on steroids and possibly an MRI will be performed.

 

 

 
Patriots Park • 222 Schanck Rd • 2nd Floor • Suite 200 • Freehold, NJ 07728
©2017 Freehold Ear, Nose & Throat Associates. LLC
Site Design • Andiamo Creative Company