Hearing Loss Frequently Asked Questions - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Hearing Loss Frequently Asked Questions

What causes hearing loss?

There are many possible causes of hearing loss including:

  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Noise
  • Traumatothehead
  • Infection
  • Meniere'sDisease
  • Tumors
  • Otosclerosis
  • CongenitalDisorders
  • Physicalblockage


If you think you have a hearing loss, you should see doctor to get a hearing test to determine the cause and whether or not it is permanent or temporary.

How common is hearing loss?

Hearing loss is a very prominent condition in our society. It affects 28 million Americans (10% of the population), including 35-40% of people over the age of 65 and 50% over the age of 74 years old. In some cases, hearing loss can be congenital, meaning that they could be born with a lack of hearing.

When could my baby's hearing screening be done?

A hearing screening can be arranged through our clinic and in some cases the pediatrician, one out of every 500 babies has hearing loss. To insure that a problem is identified early it is best to arrange testing within the first 6 weeks of age. Appointments can be scheduled during your baby's naptime.

How do I find a good audiologist?

During your first visit, determine whether or not you are comfortable with this person. Much like when you select your primary care physician, you need to feel that you trust the person and that you have good rapport. This will be a long term relationship, so be sure you are comfortable with the person from the start.

Audiologists are health care professionals with a minimum level of education of a master's degree. The audiologists at Acadian Hearing are licensed by the State of Louisiana and are nationally certified.

What is a cochlear implant?

A cochlear implant is an electronic device designed to bypass the external and middle ear and excite the auditory nerve directly. It is implanted in the cochlea; and by stimulating auditory nerve fibers, patterns of nerve activity occur which the brain interprets as sound. Cochlear implants are the hearing solution for people with severe to profound hearing loss in both ears.

What type of hearing protector do I need for my work environment or hobby?

You have to consider the following factors, the noise level, the exposure time, and the comfort and ease of use of the protective device. First, you have to select a hearing protector that has adequate attenuation for your work environment. Second, you have to consider how you are going to use the protector. You may for instance choose a different protector if your use is intermittent, requiring you to take on and off the protector frequently, than if you are going to work a continuous eight hour shift in a noisy environment. An earmuff may be preferable in the intermittent environment, while an earplug may be the choice in a long-term exposure. An earmuff may be preferred in a cold environment, while an earplug may be the choice in a hot and humid environment. However, there is no right or wrong choice, as long as you chose a hearing protector with adequate protection, and you use it correctly for the entire exposure time.

What can cause a feeling of ear plugging?

A fullness or plugged sensation in the ear can be caused by a variety of conditions, including ear wax, ear infections, eardrum perforations, Eustachian tube problems, inflammation of the jaw joint (TMJ), and increased inner ear fluid pressure (hydrops/Meniere's disease).

What are the types of hearing loss?

Sensorineural Hearing Loss:
Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by deterioration of the inner ear and/or the hearing nerves. It can be caused by the degenerative process associated with the aging, by noise exposure, or by illness. Persons with this type of hearing loss may evidence difficulty understanding speech and may also be sensitive to loud noise.

Conductive Hearing Loss:
Conductive hearing loss is evidenced when a person has trouble with volume as opposed to understanding ability. It stems from blockages between the inner and the outer ear. The blocks can be caused by ear infections, wax buildup or any number of problems that prevent the transmission of sound from the inner to the outer ear.

Mixed Hearing Loss:
Mixed hearing loss, as the name implies, is evidenced by a mixture of the symptoms of both sensorineural and conductive types of hearing loss

How do I know if my hearing loss is permanent?

The first step is to see your doctor. Your condition may be obvious to him or her, or they may refer you to an ENT for further evaluation. They may also refer you directly to an audiologist for testing. Hearing loss of a sensoinueral type is usually permanent. And, just as eyeglasses will not restore normal vision, hearing aids will not restore normal hearing-but they can often markedly improve your quality of life.

Am I stuck if I buy an aid and simply do not like it?

The important thing is to check the return policy before you buy. Typically, each manufacturer has a money back guarantee period and applicable state laws vary. Check also the amount of your deposit that is refunded, in the event you choose to return the aid.

What is the difference between an ENT, an audiologist, and a hearing aid dispenser?

An ENT is a medical doctor trained in diagnosing and treating diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. They can offer assistance in determining any medical conditions associated with hearing loss. They refer patients for hearing tests and evaluation to audiologists or technicians.

An audiologist is a person who specializes in hearing and hearing impairments. Their education involves a masters or doctoral work followed by an internship and state licensure. They administer tests, help clients to better use their hearing aids, and help patients understand how to best cope with the reality of their loss.

A hearing aid dispenser is a person who is licensed to dispense hearing aids. Their education and training requirements vary.

Which sounds are the hardest to hear?

Vowels are easier to hear than consonants. Especially difficult-to-hear consonants include s, f, p, and t. The sounds sh and th are also particularly hard to hear.

Medical Disclaimer: This Web-Site does not assume or constitute accurate or complete medical advice. Medical advice can only be provided by a physician who has obtained complete information about his/her patient. In the absence of direct physician-patient contact, including an opportunity to obtain a complete history and to perform a complete physical examination, any advice regarding diagnosis, therapy, or prognosis contained in the following electronic transmission should be regarded as general in nature, and not specific to any particular patient or disorder. The responsibility for obtaining all necessary information, the responsibility for treatment, and the responsibility for any harm which results from said treatment rests with the treating physician-of-record.

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