Hearing Loss

We want to help you understand your hearing loss.

What is Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is when your ability to hear is reduced. This can be caused by many factors and is often irreversible. Hearing loss doesn’t only affect our ears, it also affects our brain and ability to recognize speech. When you hear, sound travels through the middle ear to the inner ear and to the hearing nerve. Here the sound is transferred into a signal sent to the auditory cortex of the brain. The brain then processes the sound and turns it into information and remembers the sound. When you can’t hear well due to hearing loss, the brain isn’t able to process that information. This can lead to cognitive decline and poor speech discrimination. It is important to manage your hearing loss with hearing aids to keep your brain healthy and to continue communicating properly.

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Types of Hearing Loss

Not all hearing losses can be treated with hearing aids, so there’s a possibility we may have to recommend you to see a medical professional for additional help. However if your hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids, we have the experience to program those hearing aids for your specific needs.

There are three types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive, and mixed.

Sensorineural hearing loss refers to damage to your inner ear or to the hearing nerve. The causes of sensorineural hearing loss include viral infections, head or ear trauma, exposure to loud noise, aging, or genetics. This is the most common type of hearing loss and effects the most people. Although sensorineural hearing loss is permanent, it can be effectively treated with hearing aids.

Conductive hearing loss means sound is blocked (not conducted). This occurs when sound is not properly transferred from the outer ear to the middle ear or eardrum. Conductive hearing loss is often due to earwax, illness, ear infections, or damage to the eardrum. This usually requires medical intervention by a professional and can be treated with antibiotics or surgery.

Mixed hearing loss combines elements of both sensorineural and conductive losses. If you have mixed hearing loss, we recommend you see a medical professional for the conductive portion and then see us for hearing aids to treat the sensorineural portion.  

Speech Discrimination

Speech discrimination is how we measure how well you understand what you hear when speech is loud enough to hear comfortably. When we test for hearing loss during your initial appointment we will perform a speech discrimination test as well. This allows us to measure how you well you comprehend speech. This is especially important if your hearing loss has gone untreated for a while.

At The Hearing Center, our goal is to help patients like you improve their communication. Communicating is a vital part of life and helps us maintain healthy relationships with those we care about most. If left untreated, hearing loss can have serious effects on our ability to communicate. Hearing loss causes you to have poorer speech discrimination, making it difficult for you to understand words or what’s being said even if the volume is comfortable enough for you to hear. Unfortunately, once your speech comprehension has been affected, there isn’t much you can do to reverse those effects. That’s why it is so important to see us at the first signs of hearing loss. Hearing aids will prevent your speech discrimination from worsening and will allow you to continue communicating with the ones you love.

Orangeburg Location

1655 Carolina Ave.,
Orangeburg, SC 29115

(803) 533-1399

Monday: 9:00am – 4:30pm
Tuesday: 9:00am – 4:30pm
Wednesday: 9:00am – 2:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am – 4:30pm
Friday – Sunday: Closed