Hearing Loss Facts:

  • 1 in 6 adults in the UK suffer with hearing loss
  • Hearing loss is the 3rd most common health condition in the world
  • 52% of people over the age of 55 in the UK suffer with hearing deterioration
  • On average it takes 7-10 years before an individual seeks audiological intervention regarding their hearing loss

Do you experience any of the following?

People seem to be mumbling
TV volume has increased – Family and friends complain about the volume being too loud
Not being part of group conversations – Difficulty following conversations especially in groups or background noise
Asking people to repeat themselves
Ringing/Buzzing sounds in your ears
Struggling on the telephone – Voices do not sound clear; you are having to pass the phone over to someone else

If any of these signs of hearing loss seem familiar, it might be an indication to see an Audiologist.


Types of Hearing Loss

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Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural Hearing Loss is the most common type of hearing loss and is a result of aging, injury, noise exposure, disease, ototoxic medication, or genetics. This type of hearing loss cannot be treated with surgery or medical intervention.

Typically hearing aid provision is a treatment provided for this type of hearing loss.

Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive Hearing Loss occurs when sound waves cannot travel all the way through to the inner ear. Sound can be obstructed by earwax or foreign objects located in the ear, infection or injury to the eardrum or middle ear structures.

Conductive Hearing Loss can in some cases be reversed by surgery or medical intervention.

Mixed Hearing Loss
Sometimes people have a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
Degrees of Hearing Loss
  • Normal Hearing (0dB – 20dB)
  • Mild Hearing Loss (20dB – 40dB)
  • Moderate Hearing Loss (40dB – 70dB)
  • Severe Hearing Loss (70dB – 90dB)
  • Profound Hearing Loss (90dB+)

Causes of Hearing Loss

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Age-related Hearing Loss
Presbycusis also known as age-related hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. This is a gradual deterioration of the inner ear from exposure to sounds, medications and ageing of the ear over the years.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)

Hearing loss caused by excessive noise exposure which has caused irreversible damage to the cochlea (hearing organ). You can find more information on hearing loss due to noise exposure and ways to prevent it on Hearing Protection here.

Congenital Hearing Loss
Hearing loss which is present since birth – this could be due to premature birth, infections, genetics, or deformities of the hearing organ.
Middle Ear Infection
Infection behind the eardrum which can occur due to conditions which stop fluid being drained from the middle ear; this interrupts middle ear function acting as a conductive hearing loss.
Ear Wax build-up

Ear Wax build up causes blockage of the ear canal which impedes sounds going to the eardrum acting as a conductive hearing loss. You can find more information on hearing loss due to ear wax build up and methods of ear wax removal here.

Injury to any part of the auditory system can trigger dizziness, tinnitus, or hearing loss. Injuries include perforations of the eardrum, or damages to hair cells in the cochlea (hearing organ) caused by head injury.
Ototoxic drug
Certain medication can cause injury to the inner ear leading to hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders.

Hearing Loss Treatment

Though some types of hearing loss are temporary, most are permanent. Age related hearing loss is an example of a permanent loss as the hearing organ (cochlea) has endured irreversible damage. The general way of treating this form of loss is with hearing aid provision. Other treatment methods include cochlear implants/bone anchored hearing aid as well as antibiotics/medications and ear wax removal.

It is advised to speak to our experienced team of audiologists in regards to the best management plan for your hearing needs.

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