Hearing Loss

We educate our patients about the causes and effects of hearing loss.

What is Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is the inability to hear in one or both ears. Hearing loss is not the same as deafness and can range from mild to severe. Hearing loss is incredibly common, affecting over 48 million Americans. At Racker Audiology Clinic, we provide our patients with the education and resources they need to manage their hearing loss and take care of their overall hearing health.

It is a common misconception that only “older” people have hearing loss. Anyone of any age can have hearing loss – even children!  Anyone can experience difficulty with their hearing, just like anyone can have problems with their vision and need to wear glasses.

Woman in sound booth for medicaid hearing aids in Cory Land, NY

Types of Hearing Loss

There are three main types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive, and mixed.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the cochlea in the inner ear or damage to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. This is the most common type of hearing loss and although it cannot be corrected medically, it can be successfully managed with hearing aids. Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by genetics, aging, illnesses, head/ear trauma, exposure to loud noise, or ototoxic medications.

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound cannot be transmitted, or conducted, throughout the hearing mechanism of the outer and middle ear to reach the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss can be caused by a build-up of earwax, fluid in the middle ear, ear infections, or allergies. If you have a conductive hearing loss then we can refer you to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist who will be able to help you.

Mixed hearing loss

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing losses. This occurs when there is damage or a blockage in the outer or middle ear as well as damage to the cochlea or auditory nerve in the inner ear. Often times the conductive portion can be managed by a physician and the sensorineural portion can be managed with hearing aids.

Signs of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss often occurs gradually, over a long period of time. Often, a family member or close friend is the first one to notice that you are having trouble hearing. Some common signs of hearing loss:

  • It seems as if the people in your life mumble
  • You have a hard time understanding the conversation when there is background noise
  • You turn the TV volume up louder than everyone else prefers
  • You feel tired after social interactions
  • You frequently ask people to repeat themselves
  • Women and children’s voices are harder for you to hear
  • A loved one has suggested you have your hearing tested

Signs of Hearing Loss in Children

Did you know that two or three out of every 1,000 newborns in the United States is born with hearing loss? Hearing loss in children is common. Managing your child’s hearing loss is crucial for their overall development and speech and language development ability. 

  • Your child has limited, poor, or no speech
  • They frequently are inattentive
  • They have a difficult time learning
  • They shout or speak loudly
  • They seem to need the TV at a higher volume
  • They don’t respond to their name being called
  • They understand better when they are facing you directly

If you have noticed any of these signs in your child, bring them in for a  full audiological hearing evaluation for pediatrics. We can test their hearing and  will be refer most hearing aid fittings to a pediatric audiologist specialist.