What Did He Say? The Many Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss

More than 28 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. Although it is the natural result of aging, hearing loss isn’t only found in older adults. In fact, nearly half of the people with hearing loss are below the age of 65. It can also result from heredity, exposure to loud noise, birth defects, illness, head trauma and certain medications.
 
There are different types of hearing loss. Conductive loss occurs when sound waves are prevented from passing to the inner ear. This can be caused by something as simple as a build-up of earwax, or by infection, fluid in the middle ear or a punctured eardrum.
 
Sensorineural loss develops when the auditory nerve or hair cells in the inner ear are damaged by aging, noise, illness, injury, infection, trauma, toxic medications or an inherited condition. Mixed loss is a combination of these two types.
 
A conductive loss can often be corrected with medical or surgical treatment, while sensorineural loss usually cannot be reversed. On the basis of hearing evaluation results, an audiologist can determine whether hearing aids will help in your particular situation.

About the author

Jodi Ritchie, M.Ed., CCC-A

Jodi Ritchie, M.Ed, CCC-A, joins Maico Audiological Services after 16 years in private practice in the Hampton Roads area where she has specialized in adult hearing aid fittings. She has also worked as a clinical audiologist at Riverside Regional Medical Center. Jodi received her Master’s Degree from the University of Virginia. She has served as a past affiliate faculty member at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and is currently a member of the Tidewater Audiology Society and the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association. Jodi and her husband make their home in Newport News. They enjoy traveling and spending time on the beach as well as boating. They are enthusiastic college football fans and often join her son and daughter for tailgating at their school’s games.

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