Hearing Loss: Symptoms & Treatments

Hearing loss is a growing health concern in the US. Almost 25 percent of those aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of those who are 75 and older have the condition. Around 28.8 million U.S. adults (around the same size as the entire population of Texas!) would notice a huge benefit from using hearing aids.

To treat your hearing loss, you must first understand it. There are two main types of hearing loss: sensorineural and conductive.

At Audiology Concierge Network, our providers generally focus on Sensorineural Hearing Loss as it is by far the most common and serious type. This hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the hair cells in the cochlea (found in the inner ear) or to the nerve pathways which lead from the inner ear to the brain. It is a permanent condition. There are two main causes of sensorineural hearing loss: aging and noise exposure.

noise-induced hearing loss

woman with age-related hearing loss


There are various signs that you may be experiencing hearing loss:

  • It is a challenge for you to understand other people in noisy places.
  • Conversations can be difficult when on the telephone.
  • You get the sense that people around you are mumbling a lot.
  • You often ask others to repeat things for you.

The consequences of untreated hearing loss

Untreated hearing loss comes with an array of physical and psychological consequences that are not limited to the challenge of hearing others. It has been linked to depression and social isolation, and can make even the most outgoing individuals more introverted.

It has also been linked to a greater risk of falling and accidents. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reveal a three times increase in the risk of falls with those with even the mildest form of hearing loss. The risk increases the more severe the hearing loss becomes.

There is also a growing body of evidence that hearing loss can lead to dementia. Hearing loss was found in nine out of ten individuals with dementia in recent studies. How can we account for the link? Those with hearing loss are more likely shy away from other social events, which has itself been linked to faster cognitive decline. Another explanation is the changes in brain structure connected to hearing loss also have a negative effect on cognition.

The 5 benefits of treating hearing loss

Treating hearing loss can:

1. Help reconnect you with those you love

2. Help you feel safer on your feet

3. Make you more independent

4. Reduce the risk of dementia

5. Improve your quality of life

The most common treatment for hearing loss is the use of hearing aids. Hearing aids are more discreet, technologically advanced and easier to use than ever before. In a recent study, 74% of hearing aid owners were satisfied with their hearing aids.

If you’re concerned that you may have hearing loss, why not attend one of our hearing seminars or book a hearing session with a provider in your area today?

If you are hearing impaired, you will benefit from wearing hearing aids, period.

How much benefit will depend on many factors.

  • How long you waited before you did something about your problem.
  • How much hearing you have left (residual hearing).
  • How much your speech discrimination (word recognition ability) has been affected.
  • Your overall health: diabetes, stroke, kidney disease.
  • How well you adapt to change.

Your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight. It may take a while to get the maximum benefit from your hearing aids.

Find a Provider

Choosing the right hearing professional is the most important decision a hearing impaired person can make when they’re finally ready to do something about their hearing problem. The correct hearing aid recommendation and fitting is highly dependent on the judgment and skill of the professional selecting the instrument.

The hearing aids we select for you are based on the results of the test, your budget, your lifestyle and a host of other factors. We promise to explain everything to you, without using a bunch of technical terms that are designed to confuse you further.

To give you a little bit of information about hearing aids in general, below is a list of the current styles we carry.

behind the ear
The behind-the-ear (BTE) style sits behind the ear, while the amplified sound passes down a tube to a customized earmold which fits in your ear.

  • Typically offers more power than a custom-made hearing aid
  • Robust for active wears
  • Suitable for all degrees of hearing loss
  • Large, easy-to-use hearing aids that are very reliable
receiver in canal
Receiver in the Canal or Open-Ear hearing aids are the newest design to reduce or eliminate that echo or plugged up feeling wearers can sometimes experience (referred to as the occlusion effect). They are easy to wear and barely noticeable.

  • Fits a large range of hearing loss
  • Offers the greatest flexibility in programming
  • Water resistant and very durable
over the ear hearing aid
The Over-the-Ear hearing aid style that is very similar to the Behind-the-Ear style, but is much smaller and less noticeable. This style holds the electronics in a slim case that hooks over the top of the ear and hides behind the top of the ear, the same place where eyeglasses rest. A clear narrow tube follows the front of the ear and carries sound to the tiny ear bud, which sits unnoticeable in the ear canal.

  • Allows natural sounds to enter the ear canal
  • Can be selected, programmed and fit in a single visit
  • Very discreet and appealing to people with cosmetic concerns
  • Does not require custom molding
in the ear
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are custom-made and fit comfortably inside the ear.

  • Easy to insert into the ear because of its larger size
  • Easy-to-operate larger features such as volume control
  • Used to help mild to severe hearing loss.
in the canal
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are smaller than the ITE style and are also custom made to fit the size and shape of your ear canal.

  • Barely visible in the ear
  • Easy to use with the telephone
  • May not fit well in small ears
invisible in canal
Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) hearing instruments are a 100% invisible when worn. This instrument sits deep in the ear canal ensuring sound travels quickly and accurately to your eardrum. This 100% invisible hearing aid is designed for daily removal.

  • 100% Invisible when worn
  • Hear clearly in noise
  • Sculpted for your ear canal
  • Highest definition sound quality
  • Designed for daily removal
completely in canal
Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) micro-technology allows this type of hearing aid to be worn deep inside the ear canal. CIC’s are so tiny, they are almost invisible when worn.

  • Cosmetically desirable because these hearing aids are tiny in size
  • Programmed to have automatic or push button settings
  • Require good manual dexterity in order to place the hearing aid in the ears

Audiology Concierge Network provides services throughout the United States. Our directory of qualified providers will help you find a hearing health specialist in your area.

Find a Provider