Recognising hearing loss

What is Hearing loss?

Partial or total inability to hear can be defined as a situation of Hearing Loss. It can also be referred to as hearing impairment or deafness. Hearing loss covers a wide range of symptoms which may be due to a variety of factors or circumstances.

Hearing loss can be temporary or permanent and can occur gradually or suddenly depending on the cause. One or both ears can be affected, or one ear may be affected more than the other.

Conductive or sensorineural hearing loss

There are two main types of hearing loss: conductive and sensorineural.

A situation when sound cannot reach the inner ear which may happen due to build-up of earwax, blockage in the outer ear, outer or middle ear due to infections, excess fluid in the middle ear, perforated eardrums, or abnormal bone growth in the middle ear is called coductive hearing loss.

Sensorineural loss is when damage is caused to the hair cells in the inner ear or to the auditory nerve that transmits nerve impulses to the brain. Causes may range from ageing to excessive exposure to loud noises, as well as hereditary hearing issues and problems arising from physical trauma, certain medicines and viral infections of the inner ear.

When symptoms affect only one ear, it is defined as unilateral hearing, whereas loss in both ears is called bilateral hearing loss.

Hearing loss: causes, signs, treatments

Common hearing loss signs include:

  • Asking people around you to repeat themselves
  • Having the television up too loud
  • Having to concentrate when trying to hear people in conversation
  • Misunderstanding people often
  • Difficulty in hearing in noisy environments
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Recognising when a loved one has hearing loss

If someone close to you, a friend or family member is experiencing challenges with their hearing, it is not always easy to recognize as hearing loss tends to happen gradually over time. Your loved may not even know that they have some symptoms of hearing loss.
Understanding the type of environment your loved one experiences difficulties in can help identify the type of hearing loss they may have. You may find that your loved one is aware that their hearing is not as good as it used to be but they may not be willing to accept changes in their hearing.

This may also affect their emotional state of mind. They may feel stressed or frustrated because of not being able to hear everything around them or conversations with people closest to them. Feeling embarrassed or nervous as you may misunderstand parts of the conversation or not fully understanding a conversation. 
Within this section you will find helpful information and support to help you and your loved one recognise and understand your and their hearing.

Hearing loss

Learn about all the details and the various forms of hearing loss, such as signs, causes, how to prevent it and the differences in hearing loss in adults as well as children.

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