Discover answers to the most frequently asked questions about hearing loss.
Do you have hearing loss questions? Whether you live with hearing loss yourself or you’d like to get informed to support others in your life, peruse these frequently asked questions about hearing loss to get the answers you need.
Common hearing loss questions include:
- What causes hearing loss?
- When should I see an audiologist?
- Do I have to use a hearing aid?
- What tools and devices are available for those with hearing loss?
- How can I stay connected to others?
- How can I protect my hearing from future damage?
Explore these frequently asked questions about hearing loss and their answers below.
What causes hearing loss?
There are a few different types of hearing loss, each with their own causes. In brief, they are:
- Conductive hearing loss: Typically caused by an infection, conductive hearing loss usually starts as a temporary condition that can cause permanent damage without treatment.
- Sensorineural hearing loss: Commonly caused by aging, sensorineural hearing loss can also be a result of exposure to loud noises, head trauma, viruses, or other medical issues. It is typically permanent.
- Mixed hearing loss: A combination of the two previously mentioned hearing loss types, mixed hearing loss is typically caused by the same factors as conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
When should I see an audiologist?
We interviewed an audiologist who recommends getting your hearing checked regularly. Otherwise, if you’ve noticed changes in your hearing, difficulty picking up specific volumes, tones, voices, or uncommon noises in your ears like ringing, you should make an appointment. Tips for your first audiologist visit include writing down your questions ahead of time, knowing your medical history, and taking notes on what the audiologist tells you (including any unfamiliar terms).
Do I have to use a hearing aid?
There are several options and treatments available today to address hearing loss, so a hearing aid is not your only option. While many people with hearing loss find hearing aids extremely helpful, the choice is yours to decide! Talk with your audiologist about the right alternatives for you and your lifestyle.
What tools and devices are available for those with hearing loss?
In today’s high-tech world, there are lots of great solutions to make life easier, including:
- Captioned telephones: With a tool like CapTel’s captioned telephones, you can read along with your phone conversations to make sure you catch every word.
- Bluetooth connectivity: Bluetooth-enabled devices can sync to your music, GPS directions, cell phone audio, etc., and send sound directly to your assistive listening devices.
- Visual and kinesthetic alerting tools: Whether you want to be prepared for an emergency or simply wake up on time in the morning, there are tools like alarm clocks, smoke alarms, doorbell signalers, and customizable devices to alert you about what’s going on via flashing lights or vibration.
How can I stay connected to others?
There’s more than one way to have a conversation – try out some different ways with your friends and family! Face to face conversations offer the benefit of being able to read facial cues and lip reading. To make in-person conversations easier, you may also wish to share these tips for speaking with someone who has hearing loss with your friends and family.
If it’s difficult to hear over the phone, consider a CapTel captioned telephone that shows you word-for-word captions, allowing you to enjoy phone conversations with confidence. Learn about additional communication tools for people with hearing loss here.
How can I protect my hearing from future damage?
Protecting the ears is a good idea for everyone, regardless of their current hearing level. Explore our six hearing loss prevention infographic resources here to learn how to protect your hearing in a variety of ways—from familiarizing yourself with dangerous decibel ranges to avoiding cotton swabs.
Continue browsing the CapTel blog to get more of your hearing loss questions answered!