A common question our audiologists receive from both patients and their families is: “What does a hearing loss sound like?” You’d assume every person would experience the same thing – a general reduction in the volume of all sounds going to their ears. But in truth, separate types of hearing loss produce alternative outcomes. This is how different conditions can affect the way you can hear:

Conductive Hearing Loss

This is a hearing loss that’s caused by something blocking your ear canal. This could be a foreign object, wax build-up, or an ear infection, leading to swelling and inflammation. Usually, audiologists will refer patients with this form of hearing loss to an ear, nose, and throat physician, who can offer medical or surgical treatment solutions. These people’s hearing will classically feel muffled, as though they’re listening to the world through a pair of ear protectors. In San Antonio, due to the climate and environmental conditions, many people’s seasonal sinus and allergy issues will also lead to hearing problems. Collectively, these can also reduce someone’s perception of sound further, and overnight, they may wake up to find that their smell, taste, and hearing all feel muted.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This is a hearing loss that covers any permanent damage to the inner ear structure, auditory nerves, and sometimes parts of the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss can’t be treated with surgical procedures or medications. Instead, hearing aids are often the most likely solution for those with this condition. These people’s hearing will each be different. Some may be able to understand someone they know well, but not strangers. Different environments may also affect their hearing clarity. It’s possible that someone could have a mixture of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This could occur if they have wax build-up and damage to their eardrum, for example. In these cases, they might witness a decrease in the overall volume of their hearing, along with issues that affect how they react in different spaces and among different company.

Hearing Severity

Importantly, both types of hearing loss can be felt worse by patients depending on the severity level of their particular issue. Someone who has a mild form of sensorineural hearing loss, for example, may not have as many problems hearing sounds as a person with severe conductive hearing loss.

What Should I Do if I’m Concerned?

If you think you have hearing loss symptoms or know someone who does, the best course of action is to book a hearing appointment as soon as possible. Certified audiologists can provide a complete diagnosis and rapidly advise you on the treatment ideally suited to your condition.
Audicles can help patients achieve fantastic improvements to their hearing, and our advanced care doctors offer the very best service in San Antonio.

Hearing loss is something no one should have to suffer with, in silence. Why not contact us today to arrange a callback and see how we can change your life for the better!

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Dr. Eli Hernandez Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Hernandez started his journey with Audicles in 2017, and joined the team after completing his clinical residency. He has worked in various clinical settings and received extensive training with patients of all ages. Dr. Hernandez received his doctorate of audiology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and his clinical specialities include earwax management, hearing rehabilitation, and ear-to-brain health.