Communications are central to a successful life to all human beings. Hearing impairment is the most frequent sensory deficit in human populations which can be temporary or permanent. Consequences of hearing impairment include inability to interpret speech sounds, often producing a reduced ability to communicate.
If you feel discomfort in hearing, our team will be in touch with you to provide complete solutions. Our team of experienced Audiologists will be dedicated at your service.
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Types of Hearing Loss?
In general, there are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural or mixed (which is a combination of both).
Conductive hearing loss: results from disorders in the outer or middle ear. Sounds are prevented from reaching the inner ear, so they sound faint and/or distorted. Common causes for conductive hearing loss may include wax build-up, infection or fluid in the middle ear, foreign objects in the ear canal, or a perforated eardrum. Generally, medical procedures or surgery will successfully treat conductive loss for complete or partial hearing improvement.
Sensorineural hearing loss: occurs when inner ear nerves are damaged and cannot properly transmit signals to the brain. With this type of loss, sounds do not seem clear. Because inner ear nerves and sensory cells naturally diminish over time, this is the most common type of hearing loss as people age. However, sensorineural hearing loss may also result from injury, exposure to loud noises, diabetes, ototoxic medications, heredity, and a variety of diseases. Sensorineural hearing loss is often successfully treated with hearing instruments.
Mixed hearing loss: is a combination of a conductive and a sensorineural hearing loss. A hearing care professional can determine the best treatment, which may include hearing instruments.
Degree of hearing loss
An important measurement in hearing is frequency. This quantifies the pitch of sounds from very low (like thunder) to very high (like a whistle). People often experience hearing loss at different frequencies—so even if you listened to a range of sounds at exactly the same volume, you wouldn't be able to hear them all.
In order to determine the degree of a person's hearing loss, a hearing care professional will give a series of tests to determine the softest level you can hear a tone in a particular frequency range. This becomes your personal hearing prescription
There are four general degrees of hearing loss:
Mild (26 - 40 dB HL threshold): With mild hearing loss, it's most difficult to hear soft speech or distinguish sounds when there is background noise.
Moderate (41 - 70 dB HL threshold): Moderate hearing loss makes it difficult to hear conversations, especially when there is background noise. The TV or radio may need to be turned up to be heard clearly.
Severe (71 - 90 dB HL threshold): With severe hearing loss, normal conversations are not audible. Loud speech may also be difficult to hear or understand. People with severe hearing loss are only able to hear when speech is amplified—by shouting, turning up volume, or with hearing aids.
Profound (91 dB HL or higher threshold): People with profound hearing loss may have difficulty understanding even amplified speech.
Hearing loss symptoms
- Other people comment that your TV is too loud
- Difficulty following conversations involving 2 or more people
- Confusion or difficulty focusing in noisy areas (restaurants, malls, meetings, etc.)
- Relying more on reading lips or watching people's faces as they talk
- Common sounds seem muffled
- Difficulty hearing women and children's voices
- Unrelated answers or comments to questions/conversations
- Ringing sensation in the ears
Hearing loss cues
- Exposure to loud sounds over a long period
- Single exposure to explosive noise
- Diabetes, heart, circulatory or thyroid conditions
- Family history of hearing loss
- Medications (ototoxic drugs) that may affect hearing
- You feel stressed out when listening to someone
- You feel frustrated that people mumble or don't speak up
- You're embarrassed about not following conversations
- You feel nervous you won't understand something
- You avoid social situations
- You don't enjoy being with people as much as you used to
- You may be surprised to recognize some of these cues in your life. If so, don't be embarrassed to get your hearing checked. Most people are pleased by how simple treatment can be and are delighted by what a difference it makes.
You have questions? We have answers.
About hearing loss
Noise-related hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses. Construction and entertainment are the most dangerous industries when it comes to hearing loss. It's important to be careful about long time exposure of your home appliances which can have long-term, harmful effects on your hearing such as vacuum cleaners, blenders, hair dryers, and other loud appliances. To prevent hearing loss from headphones, opt for an over-the-ear set, rather than in-ear ear buds.
You should also have periodical check of your hearing at hearing healthcare clinics.
Loss of sensorineural hearing sensitivity is irreversible and degenerative. Even a mild hearing loss can harm someone's ability to speak, learn, and interact with others. Untreated hearing loss, especially in older adults, can lead to social isolation, depression, dementia, falls, inability to work or travel, and reduced physical activity. So it's always advisable to have regular check and take precautions.