Frequently Asked Questions About Hearing Loss

Common Questions and Information About Hearing Loss

Learn more about common questions asked at Becker Hearing Center. If you have any of these symptoms, please schedule a FREE hearing screening.
Hearing Aid
Q. What causes hearing loss?
A. Hearing loss has many causes. The most common cause is exposure to noise. Usually, damage results from long-term exposure to loud noise, but even brief exposure to extremely loud noise can permanently harm hearing. Listening to loud music through headphones has become a common cause of hearing loss, even as industrial exposure to loud noise has been reduced. Head trauma can lead to hearing loss, especially in young children.

Hearing loss may be caused by a mechanical problem in the external ear canal or middle ear that blocks the conduction of sound (conductive hearing loss). Blockage of the external ear canal can be due to something as mundane as an accumulation of wax or something as uncommon as a tumor. The most common cause of conductive hearing loss in the middle ear, especially in children, is an accumulation of fluid.

Fluid can accumulate as a result of ear infections or conditions, such as allergies or tumors that block the Eustachian tube, which drains the middle ear. Hearing loss also may be caused by damage to the sensory structures (hair cells) of the inner ear, auditory nerve, or auditory nerve pathways in the brain (sensorineural hearing loss). These sensory structures may be damaged by drugs, infections, tumors, and skull injuries. Hearing loss can be a mixture of conductive and sensorineural loss.
Q. What does the degree of hearing loss mean?
 A. Mild hearing loss - Unable to hear soft sounds and difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments.
Moderate hearing loss - Unable to hear soft and moderately loud sounds, considerable difficulty in understanding speech, particularly with background noise.
Severe hearing loss - Unable to hear most sounds. Speakers must raise their voice to be heard. Group conversation is possible only with considerable effort.
Profound hearing loss - Some very loud sounds are audible but communication without a hearing instrument or through sign language is very difficult.

Q. Is hearing loss common?
A. Yes. Hearing problems are extremely common. According to the Center for Hearing and Communication, an estimated 38 million people in the United States have a hearing loss, which is one in every 10 Americans. Additionally, 78 million rockin' and rollin' Baby Boomers are approaching, what used to be called "senior adulthood" and could suffer from greater incidences of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss and Adults
In the United States, it's thought that roughly 14% of the adult population has some hearing difficulty. With aging of the world’s population, numbers are growing rapidly. Research shows 30 to 40% of people over the age of 60 have some type of hearing loss; it's believed that this number is higher since people with hearing loss are often embarrassed by the condition and do not report it. Other segments of this population include baby boomers (41 to 59), of which one in every six have hearing loss, or 14.6%, and Generation Xers (ages 29 to 40), of which one in every 14, or 7.4%, already have hearing loss.
Q. Should I ignore my hearing loss? 
A. No! Though hearing loss is not medically life threatening, clinical studies show that untreated hearing loss can negatively impact your job performance, your social life, your relationships with friends and family, and ultimately your physical well-being.
Completely-in-Canal Hearing Aid - (CIC) hearing instruments fit completely in the ear canal. Only the tip of a small plastic "handle" shows outside the canal, which is used to insert and remove the instrument. CIC hearing aids are custom-made for people with mild-to-moderately severe hearing loss.

The Canal Hearing Aids features an earmold that fits down into the ear canal. It has a smaller profile than the ITE. ITC or Half Shell hearing aids are custom made for people with mild-to-severe hearing loss.

In Ear Hearing Aids, the technology components are housed in a custom-formed earmold that fits within the outer portion of the ear canal. ITE hearing aids are custom-made for people with mild-to-severe hearing loss.
In the Behind-The-Ear hearing aids, the hearing technology is housed in a casing that rests behind the ear. A clear plastic acoustical tube directs amplified sound into an earbud or a customized earmold that is fitted inside the ear canal. The BTE device is for moderate-to-severe hearing loss. Shop our wide selection of hearing aid accessories.
Call us today for a FREE hearing screening and hearing aid services.
Visit our clinic. We don't make house calls. Call us to schedule an appointment. 

We don't provide new devices on the same day as ordered. We provide hearing care services for veterans.
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