Hearing loss is often associated with damage to hair cells in the inner ear which are responsible for detecting vibrations in the environment and turning them into signals that engage the auditory nerves. Sometimes, there is a miscommunication between those hair cells and the hearing nerve, which is referred as “cochlear synaptopathy” or more commonly known as Hidden Hearing Loss. Hearing Loss presents itself as being able to hear just fine in quiet settings but can experience challenges when there is competing background noise and is not always detected on a standard Audiogram. Learn more about what is Hidden Hearing Loss and how to manage it by speaking with an Audiologist today.
How to Manage Your Hidden Hearing Loss
The protocols for assessing Hidden Hearing Loss are still be researched, but more advanced Audiology testing may sometimes help identify some problems that can’t be seen on a standard testing, such as Otoacoustic Emissions Testing, High-Frequency Testing, as well as a Speech-in-Noise Testing. The Audiologist also has to make sure to listen to the subjective hearing difficulties reported by their Patient. Here are some of the signs, possible risk factors and rehabilitation options for Patients with Hidden Hearing Loss:
Signs of Hidden Hearing loss:
- Struggling with hearing people incorrectly
- Overall preference for quiet settings
- Feeling easily distracted or to being able to focus in noisy environments
- Feeling like you have hearing loss
Possible Risk Factors
- Frequent exposure to loud noise or even long exposure to low-level noise
- Autoimmune Disorders that attack cells that make myelin
- Traumatic brain injuries
Rehabilitation options depend heavily on the level of difficulties experienced by the Patient. Sometimes, just knowing what the issue is brings down their anxiety over the problem, and that alone helps them manage their difficulties better. Other times, adding the use of communication strategies is key to reducing their frustrations. In some cases, hearing aids can also help a lot as they are in this case, used to help manage the sound signals in the environment, but turning down the background noise, and helping to enhance speech, a function that the brain is having a hard time performing.
If you live in Orleans or the Ottawa area and think that you may have Hidden Hearing Loss, it’s time to schedule a visit to Echo Audiology. We want to know about your hearing problems, so that our team of Audiologists can help you manage your difficulties better. Our bilingual hearing clinic ensures that everyone in the community has access to high-quality rehabilitation solutions, which sometimes include hearing aid options and professional clinical services. If a hearing aid is the option for you, learn about our various funding and payment option programs to ensure you get the help you need at the price you can afford.
To learn more, us a call at 613-841-3033 or fill out our online contact form and we will be happy to help you.