Types of Hearing Loss

As we age, we lose some of our sensory abilities. This is a natural process of the body fighting against time. We need glasses to read or see at a distance; we lose sensitivity in taste and smell, and so on. We also lose some ability to hear as the years go by.

Age-related hearing loss is the most common form of loss around the world. It is usually related to exposure to loud and concussive noise during a lifetime. That is the direct cause that damages, over time, parts of the inner and middle ear responsible for collecting sound waves and changing them to electronic impulses to be interpreted in the brain as distinct sound.

The damage to these ear organs is the reason many people complain to the hearing instrument specialists at Galco Hearing Aid Service that they hear the noise or sound of someone talking but can’t make out the words. This is the top complaint from someone with age-related hearing loss.

The Ear and Nerves

The outer ear, or pinna, collects sound and sends it to the eardrum. As the eardrum vibrates, the middle ear picks up the vibration in three tiny bones called the stirrup, anvil and hammer. These vibrations move into the inner ear, tiny bones in a labyrinth that interpret sound and send it as electronic pulses to the brain through the auditory nerve.

Your hearing can be damaged by accident or disease or by age-related hearing loss affecting one or more parts of the ear. There are three types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive and mixed types. Sensorineural hearing loss is characterized by damage to nerves and the brain. This damage is usually age-related but can be the result of disease or injury. Conductive loss means that structures in the middle and inner ear made of tiny bones have been damaged and fail to send the correct vibrations to the brain. Mixed loss is a combination of these factors.

In all cases, the parts of your ear responsible for sending sound to your brain are damaged.

Causes and Effects

When any of these components of hearing is damaged, hearing loss is a result. High fevers and other factors can damage these structures. Infants born with malformations in-ear parts have trouble hearing.

Hearing loss is categorized as mild, moderate, severe or profound. Hearing tests accurately describe the amount of loss, the type and cause of the loss, and point the way toward getting effective treatments. Call Galco Hearing Aid Service today to start on the road to better hearing.