Hearing loss

As well as being born with hearing difficulties and deafness, hearing loss can become a problem at anytime during someone's life. There are far too many specific causes to list here, but all can be divided into two categories – Conductive or Sensorineural.

 

Conductive hearing loss occurs when the components of the ear become damaged in some way. This could be caused by factors such as infection, a build up of fluids in the ear, head trauma or perforation of the eardrum.

 

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when sound is inhibited from getting through the auditory nerve to the brain. This could be caused by natural degeneration of the body (old age), illness affecting the nervous system or excessively loud noises leading to a loss of sensitive hair cells.

 

Like so many things throughout life, our hearing changes, but the transition into a quieter world happens so gradually that initially we don't even notice it. At some stage however, it can no longer be ignored - either because communication in general becomes too demanding or because a close friend or immediate relative suggests it is time to take action.

Age-related hearing loss is characterised by a breakdown in the function of the inner ear. This part of the ear houses thousands of delicate, sensory hair cell, whose job is to transform sound waves into useful messages for the brain.

Some of these cells react to high frequency (treble) tones while others react to low frequency (bass) tones, but if any of them get damaged, our ability to distinguish between the different types of sound is impaired.

The degree to which hair cell damage occurs varies from one person to another - some experience a significant loss at the age of 50, while others only have a negligible loss at the age of 80.

Whatever the causes of hearing loss, we're here to help. If you'd like to discuss why your hearing may have deteriorated or been adversely affected by an event or injury, please call us on01636 892090 and we'll be happy to try to explain more.

 

Tell-tale sign of hearing loss

  • Do you have difficulty in hearing speech in a crowded room?
  • Are you frequently asking people to repeat their words?
  • Do you find it difficult to tell where the sound is coming from?
  • Have difficulty when using the telephone?
  • Find great difficulty in hearing children's voices or softly spoken people?
  • How many times have you said people are mumbling or not speaking clearly?
  • How often has family or friends commented that you have miss heard the words or ignored anything that they have said?

These are just some of the common questions that you must ask yourself if you are not sure if you have a problem or not. Therefore if you have answered yes to any of the mentioned points, then now is the time to act and seek professional advice on how to improve your quality of life.

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