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Hearing loss is a common problem in the UK. There are more than 10 million people in the country that are deaf or have some form of hearing impairment, accounting for one in six people.
Hearing loss becomes more and more common as people get older but can also have other causes such as being repeatedly exposed to loud noises. Hearing impairment can come on all of a sudden but more often it is gradual, which can make it hard to notice.
Its useful therefore to consult an audiologist if you have any of the following signs:
Signs Of Hearing Loss
- Difficulty hearing other people say
- Misunderstanding what people say
- Watching the TV or listening to the radio or music at volume levels that are higher than what other people need
- Unable to tell easily what direction a sound is coming from
- Problems hearing the doorbell or the telephone
- Feeling tired, worn out or stressed from having to continually concentrate on trying to listen
- Ringing, buzzing or whistling sounds in your ears (which could be tinnitus, often linked with hearing loss)
Causes Of Hearing Loss
There are two main types: first, sensorineural hearing loss which is where damage is caused to the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear or damage to the ear’s auditory nerve. This can be caused by age or injury. The other type is conductive hearing loss which is where there is a blockage in your ear caused by earwax for example or glue ear.
Causes can be as follows:
AGE – The most common cause of hearing degeneration by far, most people begin to find their hearing degenerates slightly from the age of 40, its severity increasing as they get older. By the age of 80, the vast majority of people have some form of hearing loss.
If your child has some form of hearing issues, however minor, it can have a significant effect on their performance at school. As well as not being able to hear what the teacher is saying, the strain of trying to listen all day can lead to them being tired, grumpy and disruptive. Consulting a private audiologist can see you getting an appointment almost instantly and steps put into place to diagnose, treat and manage any hearing issues.
LOUD NOISES – The second most common cause of hearing loss is known as noise induced hearing loss. It is most common in people who work with noisy equipment such as pneumatic drills or work in loud environments such as certain factories and nightclubs.
OTHER less common causes can include:
- Genetic predisposition
- Viral infections (inner ear and auditory nerve)
- Meniere’s disease
- Acoustic neuroma
- Multiple sclerosis
- Head injury
Treatment of Hearing Loss
There are a number of available treatments. For example, if it is simply down to a buildup of earwax, an audiologist can deal with this by ear drops, suction or a syringe. Bacterial hearing loss can be dealt with by antibiotics and surgery can repair a perforated eardrum.
However, for the most common causes where there is damage to the inner ear, hearing aids are the most common and can come in a wide variety of types including:
- ITC (in-the-canal) and CIC (completely-in-the-canal) hearing aids
- ITE (in-the-ear) aids
- BTE (behind-the-ear) aids
- RIC (receiver-in-canal) hearing aids
- Extended wear hearing aids
- Body-Worn hearing aids
Book Your Consultation With a Local Audiologist
If you suspect that you may suffering hearing loss, why worry – speak to one of our experts and find out definitively! To book your free, no obligation consultation with a local audiologist, complete our contact form or call 0800 310 1320 today.
Free Hearing Assessment
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