What is Hearing loss?

Hearing loss is not something you can treat. It is a problem with your ears and can affect your ability to hear. The severity of your hearing loss depends on the type of hearing loss you have.

Hearing loss can sometimes be caused by a medical condition, but it can also be a side effect of medication, such as some types of antibiotics.

It is important to make sure you see your healthcare provider if you think you have hearing loss, even if you are not sure.

What are the types of Hearing loss?

There are three main types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive hearing loss This type is caused by damage to the outer or middle ear. The outer ear is where sound is converted from air to energy. The middle ear is where sound is converted from air vibrations to vibrations that can be heard by the ear. Conductive hearing loss is caused by damage to the outer or middle ear and is often treated with hearing aids.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss This type of hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is often caused by aging and can be treated with hearing aids.
  • A type of hearing loss called mixed hearing loss This type of hearing loss is caused by damage to both the outer and inner ear.

How can I tell if I have hearing loss?

There are many different symptoms of hearing loss, depending on the type of hearing loss. The most common symptoms of hearing loss are:

  • Difficulty hearing in noise
  • Difficulty hearing speech in crowded places
  • Difficulty understanding speech in noisy places
  • Difficulty hearing in quiet places
  • Difficulty hearing in one or both ears
  • Difficulty understanding speech in one or both ears
  • Difficulty following a conversation
  • Difficulty understanding television programs
  • Difficulty understanding music

If you have one or more of the above symptoms, see your healthcare provider.

How can I prevent hearing loss?

There is no way to prevent hearing loss.

However, you can take steps to reduce the risk of hearing loss.

Take care of your hearing as you age. It is important to make sure that your ears are getting enough sound to hear and that you use hearing protection when you are around loud noises.

Wear hearing aids regularly. Hearing aids are designed to fit snugly over your ear and help you hear better.

Practice good listening habits.

Remember to turn off the TV and other loud devices before going to sleep so that you can focus on sleep.

What are the risk factors for hearing loss?

Hearing loss is common with aging. However, there are some risk factors that can make you more likely to get hearing loss.

  • Age, in general, increases your risk of hearing loss. As you get older, your hearing naturally declines.
  • Certain conditions, such as age-related hearing loss, can increase your risk of hearing loss.
  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Family history of hearing loss
  • Advanced age
  • Medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or ear or sinus infections
  • Medications, such as certain antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs

How can I treat my hearing loss?

Hearing aids are designed to help you hear better and to protect you from noise. They are not a cure for hearing loss.

Hearing aids are a part of your treatment plan. They will improve your hearing and help you communicate better.

If you have a temporary hearing loss, you can still enjoy life. You can still enjoy watching television, listening to music, and enjoying your favorite hobbies. You can also still take part in social activities and enjoy family activities.

If you have hearing loss that does not go away, you may benefit from a hearing aid fitting.

A hearing aid fitting is an appointment with your hearing healthcare provider. The provider will measure your hearing loss and determine the best type of device for you.

The provider will also evaluate your hearing in noise and determine what kind of technology is best for you.

You can choose from a variety of devices, from behind-the-ear hearing aids to custom-fit devices.

When choosing a hearing aid, you should consider the following:

  • The cost
  • The technology you want, and which technology is best for your lifestyle
  • Features you want
  • The style you want
  • Your budget
  • The manufacturer you prefer
  • The size you prefer
  • The battery life you need
  • The settings you need, such as volume
  • The features you need, such as directional microphones
  • The features you want, such as automatic noise reduction
  • The technology you need, such as Bluetooth connectivity
  • The sound quality you want, including features such as noise reduction technology
  • The features you want, such as Bluetooth connectivity

If you are having trouble hearing, you should see your provider.

There are many resources to help you find a hearing aid provider.

What else can I do to prevent hearing loss?

If you are concerned about your hearing, see your healthcare provider.

You can also take steps to prevent hearing loss.

  • Use hearing protection.
  • Wear hearing protection when you are around loud noises.
  • Use hearing aids.
  • Practice good listening habits.
  • Keep up with your regular medical appointments.
  • See your healthcare provider if you think you have hearing loss.

When to see a healthcare provider?

  • Trouble hearing or trouble hearing in noise
  • Trouble hearing in quiet places, such as restaurants


Hearing loss is a common problem. It is important to make sure you visit your healthcare provider if you believe you have hearing loss.

Hearing loss can be a sign of a serious medical condition. If you experience any of the symptoms described here, visit your healthcare provider.

The content of this article is solely the author’s opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Hearing Society of America.

The information provided is not legal advice. You should consult with an attorney or other professional to learn more about your specific situation.

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