Our ability to hear helps define who we are and how we communicate. When everything works as it should, our sense of hearing has the power to inform, entertain and connect us with family and friends.
However, when our sense of hearing begins to let us down, even simple conversations can become tiring. Following a discussion with a group of people requires intense effort, and communication can become difficult – all of which can quickly lead to isolation and frustration.
hearing loss usually occurs gradually, so it is likely that you will not notice that your hearing has deteriorated
You may notice some of the following signs:
Hearing losses are often described as mild, moderate, severe and profound. Whilst not entirely scientific, this simple approach to categorising hearing loss can be a helpful way to get a sense of your hearing problems.
Mild hearing losses can be defined as being measurable with a hearing test, but either not noticed at all or only occasionally or just in specific situations. The person can hear without a hearing aid in most situations.
This is by far the most common group. A moderate hearing loss is again measurable with a hearing test and is noticed in most or many situations. The person can still hear without a hearing aid if they concentrate and the speaker is relatively clear, but the problem is noticed daily.
Severe hearing losses are noticed in most situations. The person can only hear without a hearing aid if they concentrate, the speaker raises their voice, and there are no competing sound sources. Often, the hearing-impaired person can't hear everything even if the speaker is loud and very clear.
With profound hearing loss, the sufferer cannot hear in any situation without a hearing system and even when wearing their hearing aids, they still miss sounds. These hearing difficulties often require Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs), such as flashing doorbells or type-talk phone services.
It is important to medically determine your type of hearing loss, to enable the best possible treatment for your circumstances. There are three types of hearing loss:
|The most common type of hearing loss.|
|Results of breakdown of the mechanical transition of sound.|
|A combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.|
There are more than 11 million people* in the UK with some form of hearing loss, or one in six of the population. Enhancing the clarity of your hearing can make a big difference when communicating with your friends and family, or even watching the television.
A professional hearing test is the only way to identify your type of hearing loss, but the information below will help you understand more about the main types of hearing loss, and some of the factors that contribute to causing these hearing problems.
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss and occurs when the tiny hair cells of the inner ear are damaged.
Even though sound gets into the inner ear normally, the damaged hair cells are unable to "sense" and provide the required signals to the brain. In most cases the ear's hair cells that can sense sound are damaged. As a result, these damaged hair cells send a distorted message to the brain, making it difficult for you to hear.
Common causes of sensorineural hearing loss include:
Unfortunately, there isn't a medical procedure that can "reverse" sensorineural hearing loss. However, the loss can be helped with amplification using hearing aids, enabling the remaining hair cells to respond with maximum efficiency.
Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a breakdown in the bio-mechanical transmission of sound to the brain. This is usually the result of there being an issue with the outer and/or middle ear.
Common causes of conductive hearing loss can include:
Fortunately, many conductive hearing issues can be medically or surgically treated. If it is, it is likely that they will only require hearing aids for a short period of time while recovering. In some cases, hearing aids aren't even required. If the conductive loss of hearing can't be treated medically, hearing aids are often successfully used to help.
Mixed hearing loss occurs when both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss are present.
There are numerous factors that can impact your hearing, and the treatment you receive will depend on the specific factors responsible for impacting your hearing. A Claritas Hearing audiologist can help to determine the best way to treat your mixed hearing loss on an individual basis.
Take the next step to better hearing
An audiologist can go beyond identifying the type of hearing loss you have, taking a ‘problem and solution' approach to identify specific hearing loss solutions that solve the issues you’re facing.
For more information on the different hearing loss difficulties you may encounter, you can download Claritas Hearing’s free hearing advice guide.
To arrange a home appointment through our nationwide network of audiologists or in store.
Or fill in our online form and we will get in touch.Book a free hearing test