Expert Answers from Hearing Healthcare Providers

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What is sensorineural hearing loss?

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Easley

01 June 2016 - 1226 Views

Sensorineural hearing loss is a reduced sensitivity to sound from damage, malfunction, or malformation in the sensory and/or neural auditory pathways. This can occur within the cochlea (organ of hearing) from damaged stereocilia, hair cell bodies, nerve connections, or the 8th cranial nerve itself. It is not necessarily nerve damage itself but this could play a role in causing the hearing loss.

What hearing aids are easiest to use for an elderly person?

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Alicia D.D. Spoor, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Highland

21 October 2016 - 9752 Views

Purchasing hearing aids for a person of any age or lifestyle requires a significant amount of consideration.  The "best" or "easist" or "most durable" hearing aid depends on the person's hearing acuity, communication needs, lifestyle, dexterity, vision, cognition, and preferences.  Many patients, of all ages, like the option of rechargeable batteries for ease and environmental reasons.  ZPowers offers retrofit options, along with Phonak and Siemens/Sivantos/Signia hearing aid manufacturers.  Patients also like to choose their level of control over... Read more

Are there any surgeries that can fix my hearing loss? The doctor says it's 'age related' ...

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Jasmine Burrington, AuD

Clinical Doctor of Audiology in San Marcos

27 April 2018 - 154 Views

Without looking at your audiogram, I suspect your hearing loss is not medically treatable at this time. When a hearing loss is age related, this means it is due to damage to the microscopic stereocilia in your inner ear. Hearing loss from this part of your ear, the inner ear (or cochlea), is treatable using hearing aid technology specifically programmed to make the soft sounds you're currently hearing more clear and keep loud sounds from becoming uncomfortable. Ask your audiologist for details regarding the latest in hearing technology that can help... Read more

I have had ringing in my right ear for about 2 weeks. My ear feels plugged up with partial hearing and no pain. What should I do?

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Abram Bailey, AuD

Doctor of Audiology, Hearing Tracker Founder

19 July 2016 - 48982 Views

I don't typically answer these questions, but my personal opinion is to seek medical attention immediately. Your symptoms may be caused by something as simple as an earwax blockage, which can be easily remedied by your local doctor. However, the worst case scenario is that you're suffering from a case of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, which is typically treated as close to onset as possible (to increase the likelihood of resolution) with corticosteroids. "The most common treatment for sudden deafness, especially in cases where the cause is... Read more

What can be done to help nerve deafness?

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Teresa Burns, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Auckland

10 May 2016 - 956 Views

"Nerve Deafness" is a term which people sometimes use to refer to sensorineural hearing loss, or hearing loss due to damage to the cochlea (inner ear) or the nerve connecting the cochlea to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and can be caused by aging, exposure to loud noise, genetic conditions, ototoxic medication, illnesses and other things.There is no medical treatment for sensorineural hearing loss but hearing aids and amplification systems usually can help. The first step is to have a full audiological evaluation (hearing test... Read more

What are the symptoms of hearing loss?

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Julie Norin, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Baltimore

13 February 2017 - 518 Views

Hearing loss is often progressive, so the symptoms may be difficult to notice until the hearing loss starts to have a true impact on ability to communicate. The most common reported symptoms is difficulty hearing or understanding womens or children's voices, or the perception that people are mumbling. This is because a typical age-related hearing loss will start with a loss in the mid-to-higher frequencies (pitches) first. Other symptoms include difficulty hearing or understanding conversation in the presence of background noise, as well as... Read more

I am 62 and new to hearing aids. My test shows loss in mid-range freq. I have to turn the TV up and lose words in conversations, etc. I want the best hardware - small, light-weight. Which will work better for me Signia primax 7px or Oticon Opn?

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Lisa Goldstein, MA

Hearing Healthcare Provider in Tarzana

19 July 2016 - 2336 Views

Siemens and Oticon are both excellent manufacturers, researching and developing the best in hearing aid technology. I have worked with both the Primax 7 and the new Oticon Opn with success. It's always nice to work with an audiologist that will let you try both instruments however, it also depends on your needs. If you want the latest in direct connection to your iphone that option is not available in the Siemens product. On the other hand, Siemens is the way to go if you want a rechargable device. If you have an audiologist that you are comfortable... Read more

Does barometric pressure affect hearing?

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Natalie Phillips, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Fort Collins

24 April 2016 - 1473 Views

You may experience some brief hearing loss and pressure in the ear with the change in atmospheric pressure, however, hearing may be affected permanently if there was damage to the ear due to barometric pressure changes. Cilck here is some further information.

Can hearing aids cause further hearing loss?


Rivka Strom, AuD

Audiologist in New York

18 October 2017 - 868 Views

As long as a real ear measure (REM) test is performed in the office during the hearing aid fitting, you will be fine. During the REM, the output of the hearing aid is measured in your ear to ensure appropriate gain for you to hear well and to ensure that the sounds you are hearing will not get too loud and case further hearing loss. Further, I would like to add that not only should a an appropriately fit hearing aid not cause you further hearing loss but it can help preserve your ability to hear speech clearly. When an individual experiences hearing... Read more

Is nerve damage to the ear due to loud noise reversible?

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Matthew Pearson

Hearing Aid Audiologist in London

27 October 2016 - 1486 Views

Yes and no! If you are exposed to excessive levels of noise ie a concert you may get a temporary threshold shift ie your hearing ability will reduce temporarily however continued exposure can lead to a permanent reduction in hearing ability. Custom hearing protection if exposed to noise regularly is a must. You have been warned!