The average person with hearing loss waits seven to 10 years before seeing a specialist.

No one would go a decade without getting glasses if they had bad vision, but people are reluctant to admit they have a hearing problem. And unfortunately, that keeps many people from seeking help — and ultimately improving their quality of life.

We going to clear up some of the misunderstandings today.

There are several possible causes behind your hearing loss, and it likely falls into one of three categories.

Conductive hearing loss: People experience conductive hearing loss because sound isn’t making its way through the outer ear to the middle ear. It usually means you can’t hear faint sounds or your sound level is reduced. Conductive hearing loss can be caused by mild situations, like allergies or an ear infection, or more serious medical problems like impacted earwax or benign tumors.

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL): It sounds more complicated than it really is. SNHL happens when there is damage to your inner ear, from things like illness, exposure to loud noise, head trauma, or simply age. It reduces your ability to hear faint sounds. This is the most common type of permanent hearing loss.

Mixed hearing loss: Both hearing loss causes can also be combined for a mixed hearing loss. This typically happens because of noise exposure or age, and a specialist will often treat each factor separately to get the best possible treatment.

We know it’s not an easy decision to seek help for hearing loss, but you should know you’re not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from hearing loss, and it affects their social welfare and overall health.

We don't want you to be a negative statistic — take control of your hearing health today and make an appointment to see one of our many Alabama hearing specialists.