Hearing loss

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Hearing Loss

More Common Than You Think

Hearing loss typically produces a decrease in the perception and understanding of sound, particularly under difficult listening conditions such as background noise. The perception of both simple and complex sounds (ie: speech and music) is usually affected.

Today one in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations. Hearing loss is caused by many factors, most frequently from natural aging or exposure to loud noise.

Don’t worry, although hearing loss is prevalent, most cases are mild and treatable. There’s no reason to miss out on what’s happening around you when you can choose to get the most out of your life.

With the right solution, you can find more satisfaction from everything happening around you. You won’t have to ask people to repeat themselves, and you can continue participating in the activities you enjoy. Stay involved and experience all that life has to offer again.

At Salem Audiology, we work hard to make sure that the plan and the products are carefully selected based on each individual’s needs. Not everyone’s lifestyle is the same, so there is no reason that the equipment treatment should be either.

If you or a loved one suspect any amount of hearing loss, call us and schedule an appointment today!

How We Hear

How the ear works

Your ear and brain work together to help you hear. Hearing begins when sound waves travel into the ear canal until they reach the eardrum. The eardrum passes the vibrations through the middle ear bones, or ossicles, into the inner ear.

The inner ear is shaped like a snail and is also called the cochlea. Inside the cochlea, there are thousands of tiny hair cells. Hair cells change the vibrations into electrical signals that are sent to the brain through the hearing nerve. The brain tells you that you are hearing a sound and what that sound is.

Each hair cell has a small patch of stereocilia sticking up out of the top it. Sound makes the stereocilia rock back and forth. If the sound is too loud, the stereocilia can be bent or broken. This will cause the hair cell to die, and it can no longer send sound signals to the brain. In people, once a hair cell dies, it will never grow back. This is how noise-induced hearing loss happens.

The high-frequency hair cells are most easily damaged, so people with hearing loss from loud sounds often have problems hearing high pitched noises such as crickets or birds chirping.

The Effects of Hearing Loss

It goes beyond just hearing

You could just live with hearing loss, put up with it, and be stoic about it. By doing that, however, you are hurting not only yourself but your family and friends, too. When you can’t participate in a conversation, it frustrates you and your loved ones.

What’s the best way to help you or a loved one who may suffer from hearing loss?

Get a hearing evaluation to determine whether you have hearing loss and how extensive it may be. When you do, we can determine what your best option is and help you select a hearing aid that will:

  • Work best for your level of hearing loss
  • Complement your lifestyle
  • Fit within your budget

The more you hear, the more you stimulate and exercise your brain. Take back your hearing and regain your confidence. When you can hear better, you can process information faster. Don’t let hearing loss slow you down any longer.

Sounds That Can Damage Your Ears

Industrial workplace noises, gunfire, loud music, and other common, everyday sounds that are louder than 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss. Just how loud is 85 decibels?

Take a look at these decibel ratings and permissible exposure times provided by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NIOSH/CDC).

Intensities of Common Sounds in Decibels

City Traffic, inside the car

85 dB

8 hours

Bulldozer

88 dB

4 hours

Jazz Concert

91 dB

2 hours

Power Mower

94 dB

1 hours

Nightclub

97 dB

30 minutes

Ambulance Siren

100 dB

15 minutes

Rock Concert, Leaf Blower

115 dB

N/A

Hearing Loss Treatments

Find the best solution for your type of hearing loss.

Find out what type of hearing loss you have:

-Conductive Hearing Loss: This is usually a temporary type of loss that can be fixed with medication, a short procedure, and on rare occasions, with surgery.

-Sensorineural Hearing Loss: This is caused when tiny hairs in the cochlea are missing or damaged. The only non-surgical solution is to be fit with hearing aids.

-Mixed Hearing Loss: This is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss that is usually treated with hearing aids alone, and occasionally in conjunction with medication, a short procedure, or with surgery.

-Central Hearing Loss: This type of hearing loss is often caused by strokes and central nerve diseases. This type of hearing loss usually involves a therapy called auditory rehabilitation.

Hearing Aid Quiz

Take a brief online hearing test

This test won’t replace an in-person consultation with a hearing care professional, our online hearing screening can provide some quick and useful feedback about your hearing.