Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions about hearing loss. For frequently asked questions about hearing aids » click here.

Hearing Loss Questions

A number of conditions can exist that cause a disruption in the hearing process and lead to hearing loss. The two most common types of hearing loss are sensori-neural and conductive.
Sensori-neural (or “nerve” hearing loss) results from damage to the hair cells, nerve fibers or both in the inner ear. This is the most common type of hearing loss and is often caused by aging or prolonged exposure to noise. It also can be caused by high fever, birth defects and certain drugs. People with sensori-neural hearing loss can hear speech, but frequently have difficulty understanding it. The problem is usually compounded when background noise is present. Sensori-neural hearing loss is most commonly treated by the use of a hearing instrument, and generally cannot be corrected through surgery or medicine.
Conductive hearing loss typically involves an obstruction in the outer or middle ear, which reduces transmission of sound vibration through air, bone or tissue to the inner ear. Fortunately, many conductive hearing losses can be treated successfully by medical or surgical procedures. Hearing instruments can also successfully treat conductive hearing loss. Persons with both conductive and sensori-neural hearing loss are commonly referred to as having mixed hearing loss. Most of these cases can be helped by either a hearing instrument or surgery. Lake Area Hearing Solutions will make a medical referral when appropriate.
Hearing loss may be worse in certain regions or pitches than in others. When you have a hearing loss the brain is always plugging in missing information (redundancy), allowing you to understand what is said. This process is very similar to a spell check on a computer. When the brain no longer has enough of a signal to plug in the missing information, the result is poor understanding of speech.
Hearing aids can be programmed to treat your hearing loss in the regions that you need it. The result is a greater understanding of speech in a variety of environments.
It takes most people years to notice the gradual onset of hearing loss. So if you are starting to have problems hearing certain voices, if you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves, if others seem to mumble, or if you need to turn the TV volume up to a level uncomfortable for others to enjoy – these are signs that it’s time to test your hearing. Hearing loss is not something to hide or ignore. Untreated hearing loss is more visible to others than hearing aids! Hearing loss can negatively affect one’s emotional and social well-being, which can lead to depression, isolation from others, strained relationships, and insecurity.
It is emphatically recommended that you purchase a hearing instrument in person, rather than through mail order or the internet. Expert, personal assistance is required in the evaluation of your hearing, the selection and fitting of the hearing instrument and the follow-up services needed for the successful use of your hearing system. This can only be accomplished through a professional relationship between you and your hearing instrument specialist. Hearing instruments today come in different styles and different circuit types for improved hearing for individual needs.