Hearing loss is a problem that affects more than 5% of the world’s population and that we usually associate with the elderly, since it is inevitable to lose hearing after certain ages. However, it affects millions of people of any age around the world.

In our hearing centers we receive more and more young people concerned about the state of their hearing capacity and how to prevent possible hearing loss. Don’t worry, hearing loss can be detected early. Learn about the types and degrees of hearing loss that exist and how to treat them with Optics & University Audiology.

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What is hearing loss?

Hearing loss is the inability to hear certain types of sounds and can present itself in many different ways, from very mild to very severe conditions that can be the result of various problems. Not all ear problems are created equal and more and more young people are experiencing problems, such as ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or mild hearing loss due to the continuous use of headphones with loud noises and loud music.

Mild and partial hearing loss, known as hearing loss, affects many young people even without them knowing they are having it. That is why it is so important to have regular hearing tests, since it can also affect both ears.

Types of hearing loss

Hearing loss can be of three types depending on the origin of the problem in the auditory system itself. The ear can be divided into the outer, middle, and inner ear, and depending on where the condition is located, we can talk about different types of hearing loss.

  • Sensorineural hearing loss. It occurs in the inner ear. Inside our ear we have millions of hair cells that are like tiny hairs that pick up the vibration of sounds and send the information to our brain. These cells can deteriorate due to many causes such as aging, disease, genetics or continuous exposure to excessive noise.
  • Conductive hearing loss. This type of loss occurs when there is no good communication between the external and internal conduit of our ear. Although it can occur for other reasons, many times the causes of conductive hearing loss are related to excess earwax. It is as easy to solve as visiting your doctor and having the proper cleaning done. In addition, it is possible to find this type of hearing loss caused by inflammations in the outer ear or otitis in the middle ear, a perforation in the eardrum or other problems, such as otosclerosis, a condition to the three ossicles of the middle ear (anvil, hammer and stapes). A specialist doctor will be the ideal person to treat this hearing loss, so do not hesitate to visit him if you notice that you hear less and less.
  • Mixed hearing loss. Sometimes hearing impairment can be caused by a mixture of sensory and conductive problems. Many times these people speak in a very soft volume and difficult compression. If you think you may suffer from this type of problem you should go to your doctor or hearing specialist.

 Consult with a professional

Degrees of hearing loss

In the same way that we can differentiate the types of hearing loss based on the location of the problem, it is also possible to talk about different degrees of hearing loss. As you know, there are mild deafness that hardly affects the day to day of the person, but also very severe hearing loss.

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  • Mild hearing loss. As its name indicates, this hearing loss is mild, but it should not be overlooked because the sufferer loses information about what is happening around him. This type of loss can remain years undiagnosed, so it is very important to perform annual check-ups in adults, but especially in children, as it could affect their ability to learn.
  • Moderate hearing loss. When suffering from moderate hearing loss, the person begins to have problems maintaining and understanding conversations in certain spaces. The help of hearing aids can greatly improve your level of understanding.
  • Profound hearing loss. The person cannot hear normal conversations, and only perceives very loud noises. In these severe cases, hearing aids are usually not effective and the best solution is to opt for a cochlear implant.
  • Total hearing loss. Also known as cophosis. The person does not perceive any sound and for these cases the most appropriate aids are osseointegrated implants and cochlear implants.

What is bilateral hearing loss?

On the other hand, and regardless of the types and degrees of hearing loss, bilateral hearing loss can occur. In this case, discomfort and hearing loss occur in both ears. However, it can be an asymmetrical loss, that is, one ear may have better hearing than the other, which is colloquially known as “the good ear”. More and more young and older people are suffering from bilateral hearing loss, largely due to excessive use of headphones at non-recommended volumes.

In any case, you always have to go to a specialist to make the appropriate assessment and advise you on the best treatment adapted to your ears.

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Symptoms of hearing loss

As we said, this type of problem is increasing, since we are increasingly accustomed to making continuous use of computers and smartphones with headphones, and we spend many hours exposed to the sounds of movies or music directly in our ear.

If you notice any symptoms of hearing loss and believe that this may be happening to you or anyone close to you, the best solution is to perform an assessment through a hearing test in a professional center and prevent any problem with proper ear care through healthy habits.

If you have difficulty hearing certain frequencies (both high and low), think you have difficulty comprehension and notice that you have lost hearing sharpness, you may suffer some degree of hearing loss. Many times this kind of problems are not taken into account because, although they affect the daily life of people, it does not incapacitate them when it comes to continuing with their lives, although this entails some mental and physical exhaustion.

That is why it is so important to detect any problem in time, since sometimes the chronic fatigue generated by these conditions can trigger other major problems such as isolation or depression.

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