How do I know if my hearing problem is correctable?
There are two types of hearing problems. One is medically or surgically treatable. One is treatable with sound and hearing devices customized for you.
- A Conductive hearing problem is when the sound cannot get from the outer ear to the inner ear. Some examples are: wax blocking the ear canal, a hole in the eardrum, fluid in the middle ear (fluid in the middle ear is the number one reason for pediatric visits), one of the tiny bones in the middle ear gets stuck and cannot move. Most Conductive hearing problems can be corrected medically or surgically. However, conductive hearing problems comprise only 5% of all hearing issues.
- A Sensori-neural hearing problem is any problem that originates in the inner ear and/or auditory nerve. 95% of all hearing issues are sensori-neural and are not medically or surgically treatable. The number one cause of sensori-neural hearing problems is exposure to noise. Common, everyday noises (traffic, appliances, music in exercise classes, etc) are loud enough to damage or kill the tiny hair cells in the inner ear that respond to sound. When these hair cells are damaged or destroyed, the inner ear is only sending partial information to your brain resulting in a lack of clarity and understanding.
The only treatment for sensori-neural hearing problems is using some type of hearing device to correct the deficit.