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Hearing Loss

Hearing health is vital to a person’s overall well-being. It is estimated that by the end of 2015, 1.1 billion people around the world will be affected by hearing loss – that’s about 16% of the world’s population. The numbers also show that on average, people with hearing loss wait as long as 10 years before seeking help.

Living life to the fullest includes focusing on your hearing health. It is all within reach.

Causes Of Hearing Loss

A quick look at why you or a loved one could be experiencing hearing loss

Learning about the causes of hearing loss and the type of hearing loss you or a loved one could be experiencing, is the first step towards finding solutions that allow life to be lived to the fullest. Experiencing hearing loss – whatever the cause or extent – isn’t pleasant, but there is good news: thanks to modern hearing aid technology, hearing loss is a treatable condition.

Hearing loss falls into two broad categories: the first is congenital, which is hearing loss that is present at birth and caused by factors like genetics or premature birth. The second is acquired, which is hearing loss that occurs after birth, and is the result of factors like illness or damage to the ear.

Although we in fact “hear” with our brains, hearing loss happens when one part of the ear – the outer, middle or inner ear – is damaged or unable to function properly, and cannot conduct sound signals to the brain normally.

Causes in the outer ear

These are usually easy to address, and include problems like wax plugs and infections of the auditory canal.
Causes in the middle ear

Inflammation, fluid behind the eardrum, perforations of the eardrum and otosclerosis (a stiffening of the bones in the middle ear) are the most common middle ear issues. Most outer and middle ear problems can be effectively fixed with medication or surgery.

Causes in the inner ear

This is where most hearing issues arise. The most common cause is the natural aging process, but loud noise, some types of medication or skull fractures can also affect hearing. Fine hair cells in the inner ear become damaged and affect the transmission of signals to the auditory nerves. Usually, inner ear hearing loss cannot be addressed medically but can be corrected with hearing aids.

Types Of Hearing Loss

General guidelines to help you identify the degree of hearing loss you or a loved one could be experiencing

Degrees of hearing loss differ vastly, but most cases are categorized as noticeable or moderate. Having your hearing professionally tested is the only way to determine the extent of your hearing loss, and how best to treat it.

Mild hearing loss

Soft noises are not heard. Understanding speech is difficult in a loud environment.

Moderate hearing loss

Soft and moderately loud noises are not heard. Understanding speech becomes very difficult with background noise.

Severe hearing loss

Conversations have to be conducted loudly. Group conversations require a lot of effort.

Profound hearing loss

Some very loud noises are heard. Without a hearing aid, communication is no longer possible even with intense effort.

Information provided by www.phonak.com

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770 Main St W, Listowel
Call: (519) 893-7663
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