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The ability to hear is vital when it comes to experiencing the world around you. You use it everyday, whether it be asking your children how their day was or relaxing on the couch watching your favourite programme. It’s therefore vital that you take the necessary steps to safeguard so you can continue to enjoy life’s moments to the fullest.
Surprisingly, hearing loss is quite common. It can be temporary or permanent and can impact on people of all ages, although usually it comes on gradually as you get older.
In the UK, 35% of the population with hearing loss are under the age of 60.
What causes hearing loss?
There are numerous reasons as to why hearing loss can come to fruition; things like your age, lifestyle, your working and living environment and exposure to loud noise can all have an impact.
How do I know if I have hearing loss?
There are a range of indications you may suffer from hearing loss:
Increasing the volume on your TV or radio, making it uncomfortable for others
Misinterpreting what others say
Struggling to keep up with group conversations
Feeling disconnected to others
Avoiding situations you once enjoyed
Someone suggesting you may have hearing loss
Asking people to repeat what they say
People suffering from hearing loss often don’t notice the symptoms themselves or feel embarrassed to confront them and take action. With that in mind, it often falls to family members and friends to give them a gentle push to seek treatment. It can be an emotional experience for all parties but it is vital that these symptoms aren’t ignored to ensure the patient can receive the best treatment possible.
Types of hearing loss
This is the result of damage to hair cells inside the inner ear or damage to the hearing nerve, or it can be both. This is permanent and changes your ability to listen to quieter sounds while reducing its quality.
This type of hearing loss can occur when sounds do not pass from your outer ear through to your inner ear, usually due to a blockage. This means sound becomes quieter and becomes muffled. Conductive hearing loss can be either permanent or temporary.
Mixed, as you may have guessed is the combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss, resulting in problems to the inner and outer or middle of the ear.
Top tips to help prevent hearing loss
If you are exposed to loud noise, take breaks from them every 15 minutes
Use ear muffs or ear plugs if you work in a loud environment
When listening to music do not have the volume higher than 60%
If you are regularly exposed to loud noises take a hearing test once a year
What else can be done to help?
Whether it’s hearing your children’s first words or simply waking up to the sound of the birds singing, hearing is a sense which we all cherish, meaning hearing loss can be devastating. It can have an impact not just on the person affected, but also loved ones. Thankfully we’re here to help. Usually one of the reasons you’re taking action is due to communication issues with friends and family. We suggest a friend or family member accompanies you and therefore any decisions can be shared and consulted upon.
Our experienced audiologists can carry out comprehensive hearing tests and provide you with a full assessment. Your hearing Assessment will include:
Video otoscopy, photographing the outer ear, eardrum and canal in full colour to investigate reasons for possible hearing impairment
Pure tone audiometry determining the level of hearing loss
Speech in noise testing
An audiogram, giving a graphic record of your hearing ability at various sound frequencies
A hearing health report