Hearing Loss

Riesberg Institue

Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists & Facials located in Pensacola, FL

It’s no surprise to learn that one-third of adults over the age of 65 have hearing loss. But it’s more shocking to discover that half of all people with hearing problems are younger than 65. At Riesberg Institute, Michael Riesberg, MD, and audiologist Star Lange-Richey, AuD, CCC-A, have extensive experience performing comprehensive hearing evaluations, treating hearing loss when possible, and providing many types of hearing aids. At the first sign of a hearing problem, schedule a hearing evaluation. Call the office in Pensacola, Florida, or use the online booking feature.

Hearing Loss

What causes hearing loss?

The cause of your hearing loss depends on whether you have conductive, sensorineural, or mixed hearing loss.

Conductive hearing loss

This type of hearing loss occurs when sound waves can’t reach your inner ear due to problems in your outer or middle ear. The most common causes of conductive hearing loss include:

  • Impacted earwax
  • Perforated eardrum
  • Fluid buildup in the middle ear
  • Outer or middle ear infections
  • Middle ear bone damage


In most cases, the Riesberg Institute team can treat conductive hearing loss and restore your hearing.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when specialized sensory cells in your inner ear or the auditory nerve are damaged due to:

  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Certain illnesses
  • Medications (ototoxicity)
  • Exposure to loud sounds (recreational and occupational)


Exposure to loud noise is the leading cause of hearing loss, whether due to machinery on the job or loud music. You can prevent noise-induced hearing loss by wearing hearing protection customized to fit your needs by the team at Riesberg Institute.

Sensorineural hearing loss is usually permanent, but your hearing can significantly improve with hearing aids.

Mixed hearing loss

You have mixed hearing loss when you have both conductive and sensorineural conditions.

What happens during a hearing evaluation?

A comprehensive audiological evaluation encompasses many different tests to diagnose hearing loss. During your evaluation, your provider examines your outer ear canal and performs one or more tests, such as: 

  • Pure tone test
  • Bone conduction test
  • Tuning fork test
  • Speech and word recognition
  • Tympanometry test
  • Auditory brainstem response test
  • Acoustic reflex measures


These tests evaluate all aspects of hearing, including your hearing sensitivity, the severity of your hearing loss, and whether the problem causing your hearing loss is in your outer, middle, or inner ear. Riesberg Insitute offer these appointments to their patients, at no cost, to review hearing aid styles, technology choices, and costs. 

How is hearing loss treated?

If you have conductive hearing loss, the Riesberg Institute team diagnoses and treats the underlying problem. For example, they might need to clean out ear wax, treat an infection, or insert ear tubes to drain fluids.

Permanent hearing loss is treated with an assistive listening device or a hearing aid. Many styles of hearing aids are available on site.

Your Riesberg Institute audiologist works closely with you, explaining the styles, teaching you about technology options such as Bluetooth streaming, and helping you choose a hearing aid that fits your personal preferences and budget.

To schedule a hearing evaluation, call Riesberg Institute or book an appointment online.

How’s Your Hearing? Ask the Audiologist!

Facts About Hearing Loss: It is the 3rd Most Common Health Problem in the US after Heart Disease and Arthritis, Half of the individuals with hearing loss are younger than age 65, A 12-year study conducted by the neurology department at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that untreated hearing loss increased the risk for dementia, 1 in 5 people have hearing loss, but 80% do nothing about it. Hearing health is directly related to overall health and well-being, When you are able to hear and engage with the world around you, you live a happier and healthier life.

Facts About Noise Induced Hearing Loss: Noise Exposure is the Leading Cause of Hearing Loss, This is the only preventable type of hearing loss, Approximately 1 in 8 children ages 6-19 have noise induced hearing loss.

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