Hearing loss is when your ability to hear is minimized. A hearing loss makes it harder for you to hear speech and various other sounds.
The most common reasons of hearing loss are noise and aging. In many cases a hearing loss cannot be treated. Hearing loss is normally treated with hearing aids.
Reasons of hearing loss
A hearing loss can be caused by several factors, but age and noise are both most common reasons.
Loss of hearing is a natural effect of growing older. Our hearing ability worsens in our 40s and when we reach our 80s, majority of us suffer from significant hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss is called Presbyacusis.
Another common factor of hearing loss is direct exposure to noise. It can also be an issue of living in a noisy world. This noise can come from our work or from voluntary exposure to sound, such as noisy motors or loud music at concerts, night clubs, discos and also from stereos – with or without the use of headphones. The increasing use of mobile MP3 players is increasing the effects of hearing loss.
Hearing loss can also happen as a result of other causes. It can be caused by:
- Some illness and infections
- Certain disorders
- Medications and drugs
- Damages to the ears
- Injuries to the head
- Malformation of the ear or blockage of the ear
- Genetic elements
- Tumors in the head
- Alcohol and cigarette
Kinds of hearing loss
A hearing loss can be sensorineural, conductive or combined. A sensorineural hearing loss results from damage to the small hair cells in the inner ear. Age-related hearing loss also known as Presbyacusis is a kind of sensorineural hearing loss and so is a noise-induced hearing loss, which a permanent hearing loss is caused by prolonged direct exposure to high levels of sound.
A conductive hearing loss is where the ears’ ability to conduct sound from the outer ear via the middle ear right into the inner ear is obstructed or reduced.
If there are troubles with conducting sound to the inner ear and the hair cells in the inner ear are damaged at the very same time, it is called a mixed hearing loss. It is a combination of a conductive hearing loss as well as a sensorineural hearing loss.
A hearing loss can be a bilateral hearing loss or a single-sided hearing loss.
It is called unilateral hearing loss or single-sided hearing loss. A hearing loss in both the ears is called a bilateral hearing loss.
In some cases, a hearing loss can also occur suddenly from one day to the other. This is called a sudden hearing loss.
Sometimes a hearing loss can be hidden. This is called a hidden hearing loss. It is a type of hearing loss that cannot be determined by a common hearing test. You may have a hidden hearing loss if you experience issues with hearing in situations with background noise.
Signs of hearing loss
In the majority of cases, hearing loss develop gradually so the symptoms are often difficult to recognize. If you experience some signs of hearing disability, you should contact your family doctor or hearing healthcare expert and have your hearing checked.
How to examine your hearing test?
A hearing test comprises of a number of different tests which, when taken together, can determine whether or not you suffer from hearing loss and to what extent. A hearing test is carried out by a hearing specialist using professional equipment. But you can get an indication of exactly how well you hear by taking an online hearing test.