Danny W. Gnewikow, PhD, FAAA
Audiologist, CCC
Founder & Chief Audiologist

 

Danville, VA
  (434) 799-6288

Lynchburg, VA
  (434) 528-4245

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Danny Gnewikow

Walking Through the Early Stages of Hearing Loss: You're Not Talking About Me...Are You? Part II

Intensity can range from very soft (0 dB on the audiogram) to very loud (110 dB on the audiogram). Frequency can range from very low (250Hz—corresponding to the bass sounds on your stereo) to very high pitch (8000Hz—corresponding to treble sounds on your stereo). Intensity is depicted from top to bottom on the audiogram and frequency is depicted from side to side.

During hearing tests, you respond to a series of tones of different intensities and frequencies. The threshold (the point at which you can just barely detect the tone) is plotted on the audiogram. Any thresholds which fall between 26 and 40dB on the audiogram are categorized as a mild hearing loss in adults.

The figure below shows the audiogram of an individual with a typical mild sensorineural hearing loss. Note that this person has a greater loss for high-frequency sounds than for low-frequency sounds. This is very common in sensorineural hearing loss.

Do I Just Have Wax in My Ears?

The ear is divided into 3 main parts: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. If the outer and/or middle ear is affected, it’s called a conductive hearing loss. In these cases, sound cannot travel well through the ear canal, eardrum, or the tiny bones in the middle ear causing a hearing loss. This loss may be due to an infection, malformation, or damage to the outer and middle ear structure. Wax may temporarily cause conductive hearing loss, but rarely causes permanent hearing loss.

Conductive hearing losses can often be treated medically or surgically, resulting in improved hearing. Very often, with a conductive hearing loss, individuals describe sounds as being too soft; however, when the volume is adequate, they understand speech clearly.

 Remember: Communication is the most important part of being human.

 Adapted by Dr. Gnewikow from: Brewer, D.M., Yaffe-Oziel S., Walton, R.T. (1993) Walking through the early stages of hearing loss. SHHH Journal. November/December 7.10 

 

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