Understanding Hearing Loss

June 11, 2018
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Hearing loss can be something that happens suddenly if you’re exposed to a loud sound or bang. It can also happen slowly over a long period of time, which is often the case with age-related hearing loss. Understanding hearing loss is an important first step towards doing something about it.

What is hearing loss?

Hearing loss means you have lost the ability to hear certain sounds.  Maybe you can no longer hear high-pitched tones, like the voices of women or children. Or maybe you can’t pick out a single voice if there is a lot of conversation in the background.
Sometimes hearing loss is temporary, like a ringing in your ears after a noisy concert. Most often, it is permanent because the mechanisms that help you hear have been damaged.

Levels of hearing loss

Hearing loss can be divided into four categories depending on the level of hearing loss*: mild, moderate, severe and profound. Watch the video to understand these four levels better.

*World Health Organization, 2016

Get a feel for what’s it like to live with a hearing loss

Click below to hear what everyday situations such as going to the restaurant and listening to music sounds like with different levels of hearing loss.

Click here to take our free online ReSound hearing loss test.

What is an audiogram?

When your specialist describes your hearing loss, he or she will always refer to the severity of the loss and its “configuration”, which means the pitches or frequencies you are unable to hear.
These tones will be placed on a graph called an audiogram.
An audiogram shows which frequencies you are able to hear, and at what volume. The audiogram gives your hearing professional a good idea of how severe your hearing loss is, and helps your professional select the best treatment options for you.

Parts of the ear and hearing loss types

The ear is made up of three parts:

  • the outer ear
  • the middle ear
  • the inner ear

Knowing how the ear works is important for understanding hearing loss. Hearing loss can be divided into three types depending on which part of the ear is affected.

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UPDATE AS OF MONDAY MARCH 23, 2020 

Healthy Hearing and Balance will be closed until Monday April 6 assuming it is safe to re-open at that time.

Many of our patients fall squarely in the most at-risk age range and many also have co-morbidities which may put them at further risk from COVID-19.

Our community is wisely practicing Social Distancing. The goal is to slow down transmission and give the best possible chance for our hospital to handle cases as they occur with the best possible outcome for our loved ones.

We are all in this together!

Please know that we have the deepest regard for each and every one of you and are doing our best to make decisions that will keep you safe and still help you to hear better and feel less dizzy. 

Phones and emails from the website will still be monitored.

Thank you for your continued support and for your understanding.

Nancy Hart, Au.D.

Doctor of Audiology and Owner, Healthy Hearing and Balance