Hearing Loss FAQs – Serving Patients in SC, NC, GA, WI, & FL

Clarity & Insights – Your Hearing Loss Questions Answered

If you're visiting this page, you or a loved one is likely facing some degree of hearing impairment. Our Doctors of Audiology and Hearing Aid Specialists here at Elite Hearing Centers of America are here to help. With several state-of-the-art locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Wisconsin, our compassionate team provides world-class care to individuals with hearing loss. 

Don’t just cope with hearing loss – let us help you manage your condition and improve your hearing health! Whether you’ve recently noticed a reduction in your natural hearing abilities, just received a diagnosis, or have been struggling with hearing difficulties for a while, this comprehensive guide aims to answer all your questions and concerns that come with your hearing loss. If you still have questions, please contact your nearest Elite Hearing Center, and schedule a consultation today.

Hearing loss is a common health condition that significantly affects one's ability to hear sounds. According to the World Health Organization, about 5% of the world's population – over 400 million people – have disabling hearing loss. This condition can occur in one or both ears, ranging from mild to profound. It's important to note that hearing loss is not just an issue of volume but also clarity. People with reduced or abnormal hearing sensitivities often have difficulty distinguishing certain frequencies, pitches, or words, particularly in noisy environments.

Yes, there are three main types of hearing loss: 

  • Sensorineural hearing loss – This is the most common type of permanent hearing loss. It happens when there's damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. People with this type of hearing loss often have difficulty understanding speech, even when it's loud enough.
  • Conductive hearing loss – This occurs when sound waves cannot pass into the inner ear due to blockages or abnormalities in the ear canal, eardrum, or middle ear. Sounds may seem muffled or far away. 
  • Mixed hearing loss – This is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. It happens when there's damage in the outer or middle ear and the inner ear or auditory nerve.

Hearing loss can be caused by several factors, often related to aging, exposure to loud noises, genetics, and certain illnesses. Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is quite common and occurs as a result of wear and tear on the ears over time. Exposure to loud noises, particularly over long periods, can damage the hair cells in the inner ear that help transmit sound. This is known as noise-induced hearing loss. Some individuals may have genetic predispositions, causing them to be more susceptible to hearing loss. Illnesses such as Meniere's disease, otosclerosis, and tumors can also cause hearing loss.

If you suspect you're experiencing hearing difficulties, promptly scheduling an appointment with an audiologist is crucial. The experts at Elite Hearing Centers of America will conduct a comprehensive hearing test – such as an Echalk hearing test – to accurately diagnose your condition and tailor a suitable treatment plan.

A hearing test will reveal the type and degree of your hearing loss. It assesses your ability to hear different sound frequencies and determines if your hearing loss is conductive or sensorineural. 

The Echalk hearing test is an online tool that mimics everyday listening experiences. It measures how well you can hear and understand speech against background noise, providing us with valuable insight into your hearing capabilities in real-world situations. This information helps our audiologists devise an effective treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.

No, hearing aids cannot restore your hearing to normal, but they can significantly improve your hearing by amplifying soft sounds, helping you hear sounds you've had trouble hearing. They enhance your quality of life by improving your ability to communicate and participate in daily activities.

The ringing you hear, known as tinnitus, is often associated with hearing loss. It's a symptom, not a condition itself, typically caused by an underlying condition like age-related hearing loss, an ear injury, or a circulatory system disorder. It's advisable to consult with an audiologist if you experience persistent ringing.

Yes, hearing aids can significantly help manage tinnitus. They amplify ambient sounds, helping distract you from the constant ringing. Some models even generate a 'white noise' that can mask the tinnitus, providing relief.

Yes, besides hearing aids, other assistive listening devices are available, like cochlear implants, bone-anchored hearing systems, and personal amplifiers. These can work in conjunction with or independently from hearing aids, depending on the individual's hearing loss severity and specific needs.

If a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, be supportive and encourage them to see an audiologist. Our experts at Elite Hearing Centers of America are skilled in conducting comprehensive hearing tests to diagnose their condition accurately and recommend an appropriate treatment plan according to their unique hearing needs. Encourage open communication about their hearing loss, reinforce positivity, and be patient as they adapt to any new devices or treatments.

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