A common question we get asked is “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 and can affect people of all ages. In fact it is actually very common with an estimated one in six Australian’s affected.
Hearing loss is often cause by aging or frequent exposure to loud noises for a long period of time. 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.
There are three types of hearing loss. These are:
- Conductive hearing loss. This can be caused by blockage or damage in the outer ear, middle ear or both.
- Sensorineural hearing loss. As a result of damage to, or a malfunction of, the cochlea (the sensory part) or the hearing nerve (the neural part).
- Mixed hearing loss.This can caused by both the conductive pathway (in the outer or middle ear) and in the nerve pathway (the inner ear).
When left untreated hearing loss can negatively affect people’s relationships with their friends and family. It can also lead to increased social isolation. Fortunately, treatments for hearing loss have made great strides in recent times. These include invisible hearing aids, which can be worn virtually undetected.
Always remember, you are not alone.
Hearing aids are an important solution for people with hearing loss. As far as hearing aids go the earlier they are fitted the better. If you believe you are suffering from hearing loss, review our symptoms of hearing loss blog. You can also contact us for a free hearing assessment.
Health and Hearing is a leading and individually owned audiology clinic with a team of highly trained professionals and audiometrist.