All About Hearing Loss
We all lose our hearing sooner or later. Hearing loss is a natural consequence of getting older. Our hearing ability worsens from our 30s or 40s and onwards and when we reach our 80s, more than half of us suffer from significant hearing loss. Despite that, more than half of all hearing-impaired people are of working age.
On the other hand, it can come on suddenly at any time to anyone of any age. We live in a noisy world. Noise may come from our work or from voluntary exposure to noise, such as noisy motors or loud music at rock concerts, night clubs, discos and from stereos and personal device - with or without the use of headphones.
And, of course, hearing loss may also occur as a result of disease, infections or drugs. It may be inherited or be a result of physical damage to the ears or serious injuries to the head.
In general, people who have hearing loss may experience any or all of the following:
- Difficulty understanding everyday conversation
- A feeling of being able to hear but not understand
- Having to turn up the TV or radio
- Asking others to repeat often
- Avoidance of social situations that were once enjoyable
- Increased difficulty communicating in noisy situations like restaurants, lively family gatherings, in the car or in group meetings
- having to concentrate hard to hear what other people are saying, which can be tiring or stressful
- Tinnitus, or ringing and/or buzzing sounds in the ears
There are a number of types of hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It is permanent and caused either by damage to tiny hair-like cells in the inner ear or to the auditory nerve.
The auditory nerve carries important information about the loudness, pitch and meaning of sounds to the brain. Most adults with hearing loss have a sensorineural loss. Sensorineural hearing loss can often result in difficulty understanding sound or speech even though it is loud enough to hear.
Conductive hearing loss is caused by a mechanical problem in the outer or middle ear or an obstruction in the ear canal such as ear wax that blocks sound from getting to the eardrum. It can be permanent but more often, it is temporary and can be addressed.
Mixed hearing loss results when there are components of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss present.
Hearing loss sometimes gets better on its own, or may be treated with medicine or a simple procedure. For example, earwax can be sucked out, or softened with eardrops.
But other types, such as gradual hearing loss, may be permanent. In these cases, treatment can help make the most of the remaining hearing but the most straightforward to explore to begin with is hearing aids. Finding the right treatment will be a joint venture between you and us and will take into consideration the following factors:
- Type of hearing loss
- Severity of hearing loss
- Cause, if known
- Your lifestyle
- Your age and your communication needs
- Your cosmetic preferences
- Your budget
Hearing tests are simple and painless. If you would like your hearing assessed and options discussed why not call us now.
Finding an Audiologist
Easi-Ear Hearing Care
The Old Rectory Clinic
The Body Centre
68 Alma Road