recommendations, tips and resources meant to help you improve and understand your hearing health
48 million Americans suffer from hearing loss
that's 2 out of every 10 adults
4 common signs of hearing loss
Difficulty hearing in noisy environments & avoiding social situations
Trouble understanding speech; perception that others are mumbling & asking people to repeat themselves
Listening to television or radio at a high volume
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
The primary reason why people don’t get hearing aids is due to the misconception that all hearing aids are costly and require a series of consultations and doctor visits.
the Hearing Help Express solution
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I have worn hearing aids for at least 35-40 years, most were the most expensive on the market. Never have I heard anything as clearly as with this one from you. I can even hear whispers!
— OS (2014)
understanding hearing and hearing loss
Sound waves travel into the ear canal to the eardrum where they are converted into sound vibrations, and passed through the middle ear bones into the inner ear, the cochlea. There are thousands of tiny hair cells inside the cochlea, which convert sound vibrations into electrical signals and send them to the brain through the auditory nerve. This tells the brain you are hearing a sound.
At the apex of every hair cell lies a small patch of stereocilia, which rock back and forth when sound vibrations are present. When sound is too loud, the stereocilia can be bent or broken, causing the hair cell to die, and removing that source of signal to the brain. Once a hair cell dies, it never grows back. High frequency hair cells are most easily damaged, which is why people with hearing loss often have the most difficulty hearing high pitched noises, like crickets or birds chirping.
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and the tiny bones of the middle ear. This type of loss usually involves a reduction in sound level or the ability to hear faint sounds and can often be corrected medically or surgically.
Some possible causes of conductive hearing loss include fluid in the middle ear, infection, allergies, perforated eardrum, impacted earwax, presence of a foreign body, or a malformation of the ear.
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea), or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. This type of loss cannot be medically or surgically corrected. This is the most common type of permanent hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss reduces the ability to hear faint sounds.
Even when speech is loud enough to hear, it may still be unclear or sound muffled. Possible causes of sensorineural hearing loss include illness, aging, head trauma, exposure to loud noise, genetics, or drugs that are toxic to hearing. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This occurs when there’s damage in the outer/middle ear and the inner ear or auditory nerve.
If you’re noticing symptoms in a friend or family member, remember that they may still be in denial. Rather than pushing someone to get a hearing aid, a hearing test is an impartial measurement that takes subjectivity out of the equation. But ultimately, the person with the loss of hearing has to come to terms with it. There are treatment options available depending on the cause and severity of the hearing loss. In most cases, a hearing aid is the perfect choice to correct the effects of hearing loss and get back to the life you and your loved ones deserve.