Our audiologists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have more than 170 years of collective clinical practice. Our philosophy is simple: To provide individuals with quality, state-of-the-art audiological services while maintaining a caring, understanding patient atmosphere.
We continue to expand the scope of our practice as technology moves forward and, as a result, offer many services related to the diagnosis and rehabilitation of the auditory system.
Hearing loss is a common problem caused by many factors, including heredity, noise exposure and aging. Hearing is a complex sense involving both detection (the ear's ability to recognize sounds presence in the environment) and intelligibility (the brain's ability to interpret or understand those sounds). The types of hearing loss are conductive, sensorineural and mixed.
Hearing loss affects about 20 percent of adults in the United States. At age 65, one out of three people has hearing loss. Hearing loss is a major public health issue that is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease.
Hearing loss signs:
- Your family members say that you turn the volume on the television or radio too loud.
- You ask others for repetition often.
- You have difficulty hearing when there is noise in the background or in large groups of people.
- You experience difficulty when talking on the telephone.
- You hear conversation but are having difficulty understanding.
- You have ringing or buzzing in your ears (tinnitus).
Take the hearing check challenge at the Better Hearing Institute website.
Factors that determine how much hearing loss will negatively affect a person's quality of life:
- The degree of the hearing loss
- The pattern of hearing loss across different frequencies (pitches)
- Whether one or both ears is affected
- The areas of the auditory system that are not working normally — such as the middle ear, inner ear, neural pathways or brain
- The ability to recognize speech sounds
- The history of exposures to loud noise and environmental or drug-related toxins that are harmful to hearing
Types of hearing loss:
- Conductive hearing loss - an interference to the transmission of sound in the outer or middle ear. Some of the most common causes of conductive hearing loss include otitis media (ear infection), otosclerosis and cerumen impaction.
- Sensorineural hearing loss - damage to the hair cells in the cochlea or the auditory nerve. The most common causes of sensorineural hearing loss include aging and excess noise exposure.