Hearing acuity decreases around the age of 40. As of 65 years old, one out of three people will have hearing loss, and as of 75, one out of two people will have it.
- You think people around you mumble.
- You mix up similar words (“three” and “free,” for example).
- You often ask people to repeat what they said because you feel that they’re not talking loud enough (especially when they have high voices, like children and women).
- You have trouble understanding conversations in noisy environments or where there is a lot of background noise (in public places, for example).
- You turn up the volume on your television very high.
- You miss phone calls, the doorbell or your alarm because you didn’t hear them.
- You feel that you don’t hear as well as you used to.
Types of hearing loss and their causes
Conductive hearing loss
This type of hearing loss may occur due to a foreign body blocking the ear canal, such as a plug of ear wax, or because of a perforated eardrum, improper functioning of the ossicles, an ear infection or fluid in the middle ear.
Conductive hearing loss, which accounts for 10% of cases of hearing loss, can often be resolved with medical intervention.
Sensori-neural hearing loss
This type of hearing loss, caused by the destruction of ciliated cells (hair cells) in the cochlea or nerve damage, represents 90% of cases. It is often the result of aging, but may have a genetic cause or be the outcome of long-term exposure to very loud sounds.
Sensori-neural hearing loss is unfortunately irreversible, but can often be improved with hearing aids.
The consequences of hearing loss
Hearing loss has many effects, varying from emotional to physical, including isolation, embarrassment, frustration, lower self-esteem, fatigue, stress, new cognitive difficulties and so on. Conversations with loved ones become challenging, work less interesting and activities less fun. On the practical side, not hearing the stove timer, telephone, smoke alarm or traffic noise can affect our safety and sense of independence.
What is sensory deprivation?
Another impact of untreated hearing loss is the risk of sensory deprivation, which is when the lack of auditory stimulation leads to a decreased understanding of speech. Hearing loss is often irreversible, so delaying treatment makes it impossible to recover one’s full capacity for speech comprehension
If you think you might have hearing loss, don’t wait! Schedule a complete hearing test with an audiologist.
Solutions for hearing loss
Regaining hearing is possible, and may even be more accessible than you think. Using the most advanced technology, modern hearing aids provide better contact with the world of sound around you.
» Consult an audioprosthetist to find the best option for you
Assistive listening devices (ALDs):
Assistive listening devices are accessories designed to make your life easier, regardless of the situation. Devices are available to help you hear the TV, an alarm and more.
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The hearing professional will recommend methods to simplify and improve conversations between a person with hearing loss and those around them.
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