Q: My husband isn’t hearing like he used to, but he’s reluctant to try hearing aids, because he says some sounds are already too loud. Is it possible to have a hearing problem and sensitive hearing at the same time?
A: It sounds like your husband has a “sensory” hearing loss, which originates in the cochlea of the inner ear. Sensory hearing losses are very common, and associated with noise exposure, the natural aging process, and genetic predisposition. The damage to the outer hair cells of the inner ear causes people to lose sensitivity to soft sounds while gaining sensitivity to loud sounds. (Pretty lousy deal –huh?) Luckily, in this day and age, hearing aids can be programmed to accommodate this condition. I recommend scheduling a hearing aid demo – so he can experience for himself what wearing hearing aids would be like.
Answered by Dr. Matt Perry, Au.D. – audiologist and owner of Harmony Hearing & Audiology, located in Festival at Bel Air, 5 Bel Air S Pkwy, Ste. 1411, Bel Air, MD 21015 – (410)569-5999