Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic health conditions people experience today. It affects over 48 million people in the United States and is the third most pervasive health issue after heart disease and arthritis.

A wide range of factors that can cause hearing loss, including certain medical conditions, aging, ear wax, or damage to the inner ear, can really disrupt your daily life. That's why we believe it is important to practice preventative measures that can significantly reduce your risk of developing hearing loss.

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Hearing Loss

Female outside with a dog

An Overview of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a significant health concern in the United States. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD):

  • 1 in 3 adults, ages 65-74, have hearing loss 
  • 1 in 2 adults, ages 75 and older, have disabling hearing loss 
  • 16% of adults, ages 18 and older, report some trouble hearing

The NIDCD also estimates that only one-third of people who could benefit from treatment receive treatment for their hearing loss. Impairment to hearing typically happens gradually, so it can take time for people to notice changes that contribute to the delay in seeking treatment. Understanding the causes of hearing loss and the most common symptoms can help you intervene early, protecting your hearing health from further impairment.

Anatomy of the ear

How Hearing Works

Understanding how we hear is helpful to understanding how hearing can be impaired. The auditory system is the sensory system for hearing; it includes the brain and ears, which work together to absorb and process sound. This system works by: 

  • Outer ear: The outer cartilage absorbs sound from the environment, which travels through the ear canal and reaches the eardrum. 
  • Middle ear: Movement of the eardrum activates the ossicles - three connected bones that help propel soundwaves further into the inner ear. 
  • Inner ear: The fluid and hair cells in the cochlea convert these soundwaves into electrical signals. 

These signals are carried to the brain via the auditory nerve. The brain is then able to further analyze and assign meaning to these signals, which allows us to understand what we hear. Depending on the hearing loss, impairment can happen due to damage that occurs to one of these critical areas.


Types & Causes of Hearing Loss

There are three types of hearing loss that can be caused by different factors and inform the treatment option that would be most effective. 

  1. Sensorineural: This is the most common type of hearing loss which occurs when the hair cells in the inner ear are damaged or lose sensitivity, preventing them from translating incoming sound waves for the brain to process. Common causes of sensorineural hearing loss include aging, exposure to loud noise, and existing medical conditions (hypertension, heart disease, diabetes). 
  2. Conductive: This type of hearing loss happens in the outer or middle ear. Conductive hearing loss is caused by physical blockages that prevent sound from traveling to the inner ear. Obstructions can include a buildup of earwax, chronic ear infections, growths, and damage from a foreign object. This type of hearing loss is usually temporary and can be corrected through medications or surgery. 

Mixed: Mixed hearing loss combines sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.


Common Hearing Loss Symptoms

Impaired hearing reduces an individual’s capacity to detect and process sound. This creates various symptoms that can be experienced mildly to profoundly. Common symptoms include: 

  • Tinnitus: a buzzing or ringing like noise in the ears 
  • Sounds are distorted (muffled or slurred)
  • Turning up the volume on electronic devices like the television or your phone
  • Frequently asking others to repeat something they’ve said or to speak louder
  • Needing to move to a space that is quieter so you can hear more clearly 
  • Often missing words during a conversation or experiencing difficulty following along 
  • Feeling fatigued after social interactions 

These symptoms put a strain on your hearing and can take a toll on all aspects of life. Because conversations can become too cumbersome, people with untreated hearing loss often avoid social interaction. Social withdrawal is also a significant symptom of hearing loss which impacts relationships and mental health. 

If you recognize any of these symptoms, it is crucial to have your hearing assessed as soon as you can. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your appointment for a hearing consultation appointment!

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S P
S P
2021-09-15
Verified
I needed a new set of hearing aids and was insistent on getting them only after a thorough examination from a good audiologist. I found AHAC on the internet and am very glad I picked it to take care of my hearing aids need. It was very gratifying to find an audiologist who had my best interest in mind and came up with the best option of hearing aids for me. Dr. Holli Lish is very professional. She was patient in answering all my questions about my new aids. She quickly understood and solved the little problems I encountered with my aids very efficiently. In the 1 month that I’ve known Dr. Lish, I feel assured that she will go the extra mile to ensure that I am hearing my best at all times. Thank you Dr. Lish! I would definitely recommend AHAC to anyone suffering from hearing loss.
Craig Peterson
Craig Peterson
2021-09-09
Verified
I have been to a bunch of hearing aid providers. This is the best. No pressure. No hipe. They work with you to see you best care and advice. Then they follow up to make sure it's perfect. Try them. You won't be sorry.
William Sleeter
William Sleeter
2021-06-17
Verified
I am sure just about everyone who needs a hearing aid has told a similar story. What did you say? Turn the TV down. etc etc. Well after a lot of research I went to Audiology and Hearing Aid Center and am very happy I did. Dr Holli Lish was fantastic. She listened to my concerns and fit me with hearing aids that have worked for me. No more what did you say and my wife is very happy with that. I recommend AHAC to anyone with hearing issues. They are professional and LISTEN to you. What more can I say.
Mark B
Mark B
2021-06-05
Verified
Before I purchased my current hearing aids, I did a fair amount of research on the Hearing Forum and YouTube. It is from the Dr. Cliff YouTube videos that I discovered that both Holli and Maryann are both certified in Real Ear Measurement and "Best Practices. If you are like myself and never heard about these two issues, I highly suggest that you do some research to educate yourself as knowing about Real Ear Measurement is the only way to make sure that your hearing aids are properly set up and Best Practices will make sure that your hearing issues will be properly addressed Maryann spent a lot of quality time with me going over the options for my hearing issue during my recent purchase on new hearing aids and she also spent a lot of time setting up my hearing aids and the remote application for my cell phone. I purchased my older set of hearing aids from another audiologist and they never spent a lot of time with me to properly evaluate my hearing needs and set up me hearing aids to get the best settings for my hearing loss.
Nathan Harris
Nathan Harris
2021-05-13
Verified
I was looking to get molds for in-ear monitors and also get my ears checked. Ascent audiology was great with a quick and easy ear exam and a fast process for the ear molds. The doctor was very skilled on the subject of ear molds because they make molds for hearing aids. If you’re a musician and want to get molds for in ear monitors, would totally recommend ascent, they’re the best
Jeff Ceccola
Jeff Ceccola
2021-05-10
Verified
I was initially hesitant about getting hearing aids to but really only to satisfy my wife I made an appointment. Best thing I ever did, wish I did it years earlier. Dr. McCullough was great! She explained my hearing loss in terms I could understand, went through my options and explained all the costs. At no point felt like I was pressured to buy anything. Being an avid birdwatcher, this has added so much more quality to my hobby, and honestly, to my life overall. Thanks Dr. McCullough!!
Andres C
Andres C
2021-04-28
Verified
I have spent that last 20 years of my life struggling to find a well working solution to treat my particular kind of hearing loss. Went through 4 different audiologists before finding Dr. Holli Lish. I was introduced to “real-ear measurement” that allows for precise adjustments to be made to your hearing aids. The quick? Dr Lish made my old hearing aids work better than ever AND I purchased new up to date hearing aids that are literally four times smaller and work even better in challenging environments. I must mention that the staff at AHAC are most pleasant. My best experience EVER!
Joseph, Newtown, PA
Joseph, Newtown, PA
2021-04-28
Verified
My wife had been after me for a few years to get hearing aids (HA). I was in denial that I needed them. A trip to my ENT doctor showed a significant hearing loss. Being a scientist, I wanted to research what was available and make an intelligent decision. Well, as any of you who have done their own research on HA, there is an overwhelming number of choices and product claims. Moreover, there appeared to be agreement that choosing the Audiologist to fit the HA to my unique needs was more important than choosing the HA. My research led me to contact the Audiology and Hearing Aid Center (AHAC) in Warminster, PA. AHAC has committed to follow the Best Practices of the DrCliffAud network. Following best practices helps to ensure that the HA I select are properly fitted to deliver the performance I need and I am paying for. Dr Maryann McCullough Nikander (Director of Audiology at AHAC) and I had a "good chemistry" from the beginning. I much appreciated her patience in answering my questions, her patience in listening to my needs and uncertainties, and helping me choose a HA solution that would support the wide range of hearing environments I need. I was also impressed by the post-purchase support that I received from Dr. Nikander. Future office visits covered in depth how to insert/remove the HA, how to care for the HA, and how to use my iPhone to control the finer aspects of my HA. I am confident that with Dr. Nikander's help I made the proper choice in HA and made the best choice in AHAC as my Audiology Center. I am completely satisfied with the performance of my HA and wish I had started years earlier in finding a solution to my hearing problems.
Franklin Smith
Franklin Smith
2021-04-27
Verified
Went to my follow up appointment on my new hearing aids and reported to my audiologist, Holli Lish, that they are awesome. Had a few questions which were answered with the professionalism that I have come to expect at their office in Warminster. I had a slight static problem on phone calls that were blue toothed from my phone to the aids which she quickly solved. Over all they do a splendid job throughout the process of serving your hearing aid needs. I would recommend Audiology and Hearing Aid Center to anyone wishing to get the joy of hearing again.
Joan Travers
Joan Travers
2021-04-21
Verified
I was very happy with both the pleasent receptionist and the help I received from Dr. Holly. Since it's only been two weeks that I got my hearing aids, I had quite a few questions and Dr. Holly helped by not only explaining but also showing me and assuring me if a problem did come up, she is just a phone call away.

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