We often get asked “what is hearing loss?” Hearing loss is a decreased sensitivity to sounds that you would normally hear. It can occur with varying degrees of severity. It can affect people of all ages and is actually very common with an estimated one in six Australian’s affected.
So what is hearing loss? First of all, hearing loss is cause by ageing or frequent exposure to loud noises over an extended period. Mild age related hearing loss often starts when a person is in their early forties. Hearing loss can also be acquired through illness, accident and exposure to certain drugs and chemicals.
Hearing loss can present itself in three different ways…
- Conductive hearing loss. Blockage or damage in the outer ear, middle ear or both causes this.
- Sensorineural hearing loss. The cochlea (the sensory part) or the hearing nerve (the neural part) can malfunction or become damaged.
- Mixed hearing loss. Both the conductive pathway (in the outer or middle ear) and in the nerve pathway (the inner ear) can cause this type of hearing loss.
Untreated hearing loss can negatively affect people’s relationships. It can affect their connection with friends and family and can lead to increased social isolation.
Fortunately, hearing loss treatments have made great strides recently due to new technologies. These include invisible hearing aids, which can be worn virtually undetected.
Hearing aids are an important solution for people with hearing loss and the earlier they are fitted the better. If you believe you are suffering from hearing loss, review our symptoms of hearing loss blog and contact us for a free hearing assessment.