According to the American Journal of Public Health hearing loss directly affects approximately 23% of all Americans over the age of 12, most of these with a mild loss. Often times this is the level of loss where people attribute their difficulty in hearing to the background noise or feel that others are just mumbling. While this can be the case, it is always important to make sure by scheduling an appointment with one of our providers!
So, what is mild auditory loss is, how does it develop, and most importantly, how is it treated?
What Is Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss??
For those who have been diagnosed with mild auditory loss, there are several common causes to keep in mind. The two most common causes of mild auditory loss are aging and noise exposure but can also be caused by:
- Cerumen impaction: In layman’s terms it means you have ear wax – a lot of it! It can build up in the ear and block out sound, mimicking a more permanent auditory issue. The good news is that this is easily treatable either in a doctor’s office or with the use of over-the-counter solutions that can help loosen and remove the wax.
- Ear infection: While much more common in children than adults, an ear infection can impact anyone. Severe ear infections can even lead to temporary perforations of the eardrum, leading to more severe hearing loss. This is why it is important to get in to see your doctor right away if you suspect an ear infection.
- Anatomical issues: These might include acoustic neuromas, abnormalities with the bones, or even Meniere’s disease. While much less common, these are important to have ruled out as medical intervention may be needed.
It is always important to schedule an appointment with a professional and get the correct diagnosis.
How Do You Develop Mild Hearing Loss?
Mild auditory loss is determined by a visit to an Audiologist or Hearing Aid Specialist. At this visit, the provider will examine your ears (it could be wax!) and then test your ability to hear by presenting you with noise at varying volumes and different frequencies via headphone or soft foam inserts. The results of this test will tell the provider if there is a loss present and to what degree.
If you have a mild hearing loss then the quietest sound you will hear would be between 26 and 40 decibels, moderate auditory loss you would hear in the 41 to 55-decibel range, with severe and profound hearing losses at 70 decibels and 90 decibels, respectively.
How Do You Treat Mild Hearing Loss?
Ultimately, the treatment of mild auditory loss is going to depend on the cause. For example, those who suffer from a cerumen impaction might be able to take care of this with an over-the-counter solution such as Debrox. On the other hand, severe buildups might require the attention of a doctor. Those who have been diagnosed with an ear infection will have this treated using appropriate antibiotics under the care of their doctor.
For those who have developed mild auditory loss due to aging or noise exposure, the most common treatment is a hearing aid. This should be discussed with a trained professional.
Rely on the Trained Hearing Specialists at Harbor Audiology and Hearing Services!
It is critical for everyone to make sure that they take care of their ears. For those who suffer from auditory loss, the sooner it is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment options will be.
If you are looking for someone who can take care of your ears, then rely on the trained professionals at Harbor Audiology and Hearing Services. At Harbor Audiology and Hearing Services, we place the needs of our patients first. Give us a call today to make an appointment with a member of our team!