Hearing & Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can come at any stage in life, but is more frequently noticed from around the age of 50 and beyond. There are many reasons that can affect your hearing, but read below to learn about the different degrees of hearing loss, how normal hearing works, types of hearing loss, what hearing loss is and how it can occur, how to recognize hearing loss and solutions to overcome your hearing loss.


Different degrees of hearing loss

0 to 20 dB hearing loss = normal hearing
20 to 35 dB hearing loss = slightly hearing impaired
35 to 70 dB hearing loss = average hearing loss
70 to 90 dB hearing loss = severe hearing loss
90 dB or more hearing loss = profound impairment

How does normal hearing work?

Three parts of the anatomy of our ear make up our hearing system: the inner ear, middle ear, and outer ear. As air waves (sound) enter our ear canal, they first reach our outer ear (pinna, ear canal and ear drum) which makes our eardrum move or vibrate. These vibrations stimulate three tiny bones inside of our middle ear (ossicles and ear drum). Fluid inside of our inner ear (cochlea, auditory nerve and brain) is moved which triggers a response in the hearing nerve. Our brain receives this signal and processes the initial air waves as sound.

Types of hearing loss

Which part of the hearing system is damaged? That determines the type of hearing loss that needs to be treated. This can be in the outer ear, middle ear or inner ear of your hearing system:

  • Inner ear hearing loss

    • This is the most common type and most cases of hearing losses are related to the inner ear. The cause is often due to natural aging, but can also be caused by noise induced hearing loss, medications, or trauma to the ear or head. The fine hair cells in your inner ear are damaged meaning fewer sound signals can be passed on. A hearing device is often an effective solution for this type of hearing loss.
  • Middle ear hearing loss

    • Perforation of the ear drum, fluid build up or inflammation are all examples of problems that disrupt the functionality of the middle ear. These issues are best handled with either surgery or medicine. Once resolved we can retest your hearing to make sure no other portion of your hearing system is damaged.
  • Outer ear hearing loss

    • Most commonly caused by earwax (cerumen) or infections of your ear canal. These are very easily remedied with a simple visit to your doctor, but it is important to act quickly to avoid damage to your entire hearing system. Once resolved we can retest your hearing to make sure no other portion of your hearing system is damaged.

What is hearing loss and how does hearing loss occur?

Natural aging is a common reason for hearing loss and often times the most efficient solution is a hearing device. Hearing loss occurs when one or more parts of our hearing system no longer work properly. Each component of your ear is part of a delicate and complex system in which many variables can affect your hearing ability. 

Outer ear and middle ear issues can lead to a lack of sound transfer being conducted well enough. Everything still works, but may not be receiving enough information to work properly. This is called conductive hearing loss.

Inner ear problems means that sound is arriving at the cochlea, but not being processed to the hearing nerve efficiently. This can also be an issue of the hearing nerve itself and it may not be fully passing along information to your brain in it's entirety, or even at all. This is called a sensineural hearing loss and is the most common type of hearing loss

A mixed hearing loss is a combination of both a conductive and a sensineural hearing loss.

How do you recognize hearing loss?

Are you increasing your TV or radio volume? Do you have difficulty understanding people talk? Do people sound like they are mumbling? Do you find it difficult to determine where sound comes from? Do you often ask "What?" or "Huh?" or ask others to repeat themselves? Hearing better starts with recognizing the symptoms.

Most of the time it's the people closest to you, your loved ones, family or friends, that notice the hearing loss first. If you suspect you're having difficulty hearing as well as you used to, then make an appointment with one of our hearing specialists to find out if you have a hearing loss.


Answer a few quick questions to get a better idea of how hearing loss may be affecting your quality of life and to learn how our services will help kick-start your path to better hearing.



Take the first step towards better hearing by trying our quick and easy, three-minute hearing test. In less time than it takes to brew a cup of coffee you will have a clear view of your hearing health. Try it now!




Want a better understanding of your hearing loss? Schedule an appointment to have one of our friendly hearing experts test your hearing and give you advice. Your no obligation consultation is complimentary. We'll help you find a solution that best suits your life!