Hearing loss impacts one in six adults. While hearing loss symptoms generally impact those of a more advanced age, research has shown that hearing loss is also affecting more young people than ever before. This can often be due to factors such as noise induced hearing loss and hearing loss due to an ear infection, with hearing loss in children on the rise.
If you’re facing hearing problems and would like some advice on the most appropriate hearing loss treatment for you, get in touch with our expert team today.
The Impacts of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can negatively impact various aspects of everyday life; communication that once came naturally can become increasingly difficult and tiring.
As active communication requires intense concentration, it can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness due to the difficulties experienced when talking in groups of people.
Causes of hearing loss
There are many different causes for hearing loss, with hearing loss symptoms differing in levels of severity. Some causes for hearing loss can lead to individuals experiencing hearing loss in only one ear while they can hear perfectly out of the other. Here are a few examples of the main causes for hearing loss:
Conductive hearing loss
This type of hearing loss occurs through the blockage of the natural movement of sound within the outer ear or middle ear.
Noise induced hearing loss
As the name suggests, permanent hearing loss can occur through the over exposure of loud noises over prolonged periods of time; musicians and those who work with loud machinery are often inflicted with this. Custom-made earplugs are recommended to protect your hearing.
Ear infection hearing loss
Ear infections can cause sudden hearing loss in one ear or both ears. See your GP as soon as possible for treatment.
Hearing Loss Causes: The Affected Areas
Hearing loss causes can stem from several issues in each area of the ear as follows. It is important that any signs and symptoms of hearing loss are dealt with as soon as possible:
Hearing Loss Causes: The Outer Ear
Hearing loss causes can result from issues within the outer ear. Typical problems with the outer ear include ear wax blockages and infections of the auditory canal. Usually, these problems can be addressed by ear wax removal or visiting your GP for infections. It is important to act quickly to avoid hearing damage.
Hearing Loss Causes: 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 problems to interfere with middle ear function causing hearing loss. Most middle ear problems can be addressed effectively with medication or surgery. If this is not possible, permanent hearing loss can be compensated with a hearing aid in most cases.
Hearing Loss Causes: The inner Ear
Most hearing loss causes stem from the symptoms in the inner ear. The most common cause is the natural ageing process. But loud noise, taking certain medication, or skull fractures can also have a negative influence on a person’s hearing ability. These influences damage the fine hair cells and affect the transmission of signals to the auditory nerves. Usually, inner ear hearing loss cannot be addressed medically. However, this type of hearing loss can be corrected with hearing aids in most cases.
Hearing loss caused by an outer or middle ear defect is called conductive hearing loss whereas damage to the inner ear is called sensorineural hearing loss. If both types occur together, the condition is called mixed hearing loss.