Hearing Loss Overview

At Advanced Hearing Hawaii in Kailua, we take care of all your hearing needs. We offer state-of-the art diagnostic evaluation and a full range of evidence-based treatment for hearing loss. Our otolaryngology and audiology professionals collaborate closely to provide a range of options, including technology-based, medical and surgical treatment of hearing loss. Our recommendations are driven by your unique needs and circumstances, the latest research and the aloha spirit, not by offshore executive managers or insurance companies. We take the time to listen to your concerns and help you make a well-informed final decision. No matter why you come, we’re “hear” to help.

Experiencing Hearing Loss?

If so, you are not alone. Hearing loss is one of the most common health conditions across the world. It affects roughly 20 percent of the American population and can strike people of all ages.

48 million Americans report some degree of hearing loss.

Top 5 Symptoms of Hearing Loss

  1. Having trouble following conversations when there is background noise
  2. Frequently asking for repetition
  3. Feeling like others mumble when they speak
  4. Turning the volume on the television up
  5. Avoiding social gatherings

How is Hearing Loss Diagnosed?

In order to diagnose hearing loss, your audiologist will review your medical history, discuss your symptoms, physically examine your ears and complete a hearing evaluation consisting of a series of audiological tests. A hearing exam may involve one or more of the following:

  • Pure Tone Testing
  • Bone Conduction Testing
  • Speech Testing
  • Tympanometry
  • Acoustic Reflex Testing
  • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
  • Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)

Types of Hearing Loss

Treatment will depend on your type and degree of hearing loss.

There are three types:

Sensory/neural (formerly known as sensorineural) hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It involves a problem with the inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is usually treated with hearing aids.  

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound vibrations are dampened as they pass through the middle ear system, from the eardrum to the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss is sometimes remedied by surgery or medications. In chronic cases, it may be treated with hearing aids.

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both types. Treatment might involve a combination of medication, surgery and/or hearing aids.

Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss

Hearing is a cornerstone of our ability to communicate in person with other human beings. Hearing loss can lead to anything from mild embarrassment to misunderstandings with life-threatening consequences. Because it often develops over many years, it is common for the affected person not to realize there is a problem or to dismiss its severity.

Studies have found that rates of social isolation, depression and cognitive decline are higher in people who have untreated hearing loss. In fact, a 2017 Lancet paper identified hearing loss as the greatest risk factor for dementia.

Hearing loss does not just affect the person with the hearing loss. Friends can find it frustrating to communicate and family members can feel burdened by the need to compensate by frequently repeating themselves or straining their vocal cords to speak loudly enough to be understood.

Researchers agree that treating your hearing loss can lead to better overall health, relationships, professional success and emotional well-being.

Meet Our Doctor of Audiology

Passionate about the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, Dr. Wassermann believes in a “one-size-fits-ONE” approach.

Dr. Wassermann joined Advanced Hearing Hawaii after completing his clinical fellowship at the University of Virginia. He earned his Doctor of Audiology from the University of South Florida. Passionate about the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, Dr. Wassermann believes in a “one-size-fits-ONE” approach. He prides himself on customizing solutions for each patient based on their hearing health care needs. In his spare time, he loves to swim in the ocean, ride his bicycle, play tennis and study foreign languages.

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photo credit – Linda Chiu