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Some Common Causes of Hearing Loss - Over 30 million Americans have some degree of hearing impairment.  The type of hearing loss and the treatment is determined by the underlying cause:

Sensorineural Hearing Loss or "nerve" deafness involves damage to the inner ear and can be caused by aging, noise exposure, heredity, trauma, infections, use of certain drugs, pre-natal and birth-related problems, or a benign tumor in the inner ear.  Sensorineural hearing loss is most commonly managed with hearing aids.

Conductive Hearing Loss involves the outer and middle ear and can result from blockage by ear wax, a punctured eardrum, birth defects, ear infections, and heredity. Conductive hearing loss often can be corrected medically or surgically

Audiology Services:

Hearing Evaluation: If you are experiencing hearing problems, pain or fullness in the ear, or tinnitus (ringing in the ears), a hearing test may be helpful in determining whether hearing loss is present, the cause for hearing loss, and if your hearing loss may improve with hearing aids.  The hearing test consists of three steps:

  • Otoscopy:  A basic visual examination of the ear canal and ear drum.
  • Audiogram:  This threshold test involves responding to tones of varying volume and pitch, and the testing of speech understanding using words or sentences.
  •  Additional tests:
  1. Immittance testing:  This is an automatic test which determines the mobility of the ear drum and the functioning of the middle ear space, as well as testing certain neural pathways and middle ear reflexes.
  2.  OAE (otoacoustic emissions): This is an automatic test that evaluates the outer hair cells of the cochlea (inner ear). This test helps to differentiate between the sensory and neural components of a sensorineural hearing loss.

 Hearing Aid Services:

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