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Understanding Hearing Loss

September 10, 2018

Hearing loss is one of the most common issues in the world. Nearly 1 in 6 Australians age 12 and older experience hearing loss severe enough to interfere with daily communication.
There are many reasons for the high volume of cases, with an ageing population high on the list. Called presbycusis, age related hearing loss is the slow loss of hearing that occurs as people get older.


The main causes of hearing loss are:

• Ageing
• Repeated exposure to loud noises
• Infections
• Injuries to the head or ear
• Birth defects or genetics
• Ototoxic reaction to drugs (ie antibiotics, chemotherapy, radiation)


While the causes of hearing loss may be varied, there are only two types of hearing loss:

Conductive – a problem with the outer or middle ear, conductive hearing loss is often medically or surgically treatable. A common example is chronic middle ear infection.
Sensorineural – the most common type, sensorineural hearing loss is a problem with the inner ear or the hearing nerve, is usually permanent, and can be rehabilitated with amplification through hearing aids.

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

 

Potential impact of untreated hearing loss

Hearing loss if untreated can have numerous negative effects and many people put off getting help for their hearing loss because they think it’s insignificant – something they can deal with it by simply turning the TV louder or asking friends to repeat themselves. But research has linked untreated hearing loss to significant issues such as:


• Irritability, negativism and depression
• Fatigue, tension, stress and depression
• Avoidance or withdrawal from social situations
• Social rejection and loneliness
• Reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety
• Impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks
• Reduced job performance and earning power
• Diminished psychological and overall health


Could you have untreated hearing loss?

• Do you ask others to repeat themselves?
• Turn up the television or radio volume to levels where others find it too loud?
• Have trouble understanding conversation in noisy places?
• Have trouble hearing women’s and children’s voices?
• Have trouble hearing over the telephone?
• Find that people seem to mumble?
• Have difficulty following a fast-moving conversation?


If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, a full consultation from a hearing healthcare professional is recommend. So, don’t delay, call HearClear Audiology today on 1300 552 207 and make an appointment to see one of our audiologists for a FREE hearing assessment.

 

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