The sounds of nature, conversations with friends and family, concert auditoriums – our ears play an integral part in making all these activities enjoyable. Additionally, our ears are a natural warning system, capable of detecting oncoming traffic, registering a possible home break-in, or alerting us of any other potential dangers. We sometimes take these everyday things for granted, only becoming fully aware of that wonderful and complex organ – the ear – when things appear to go wrong.
There is a famous quote that says, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” However, you don’t have to wait for hearing loss to remind you how important it is to hear clearly. Our sense of hearing allows us to enjoy the sounds that surround us in our everyday lives, such as our favorite music and our grandchildren’s laughter.
It is not easy to admit that our hearing is not what it used to be. We are usually unaware of it until family and friends point it out – and this is the very moment to do something about it. However, studies show that in Malaysia, people wait an average of 7 years after noticing the first signs of hearing loss before actually doing something about it. The use of a hearing aid would have significantly improved the quality of life and health over that period, had they addressed it earlier.
Hearing loss can be gradual and subtle, similar to vision loss. But there is one big difference – there is no stigma attached to wearing glasses!
Life is too short to live without the voices and sounds you cherish the most. The first thing to do when you are experiencing a hearing loss is to educate yourself. That is why you will find relevant information about hearing loss on this page for you to read at your leisure. If you would like more information, you can always speak to one of our hearing aid experts for free! Simply fill out the form or give us a call directly to learn how you can begin to hear better today!
Causes and symptoms of hearing loss
Everybody knows that exposure to loud noises can damage one’s hearing. Many aspects of modern life put us in demanding listening environments, such as the workplace, on the street, or at home. One example is a concert: most of us have experienced a temporary hearing difficulty after attending an extremely loud music event. Moreover, in the last few decades, more people have been using earphones almost exclusively to listen to music, which can increase the likelihood of hearing damage. It’s important to note that loss of hearing can be a result of a head injury, disease, infection, trauma, stress, diet. Genetics is also a common culprit.
So, when is the right time to seek help? These common signs and symptoms are indicators that immediate help should be sought:
- Difficulty following a conversation with more than two people at once
- Difficulty understanding what people are saying in loud environments, such as busy restaurants, cafes, shops, etc.
- Other people’s voices seem muffled
- Listening to the TV at a high volume
- Ringing in the ear
- Group conversations are exhausting
Types of hearing loss
The medical community has identified three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and combined. What they all have in common is that one’s hearing capacity is, in part, significantly reduced. This has a direct impact on a person’s quality of life, health, and social interactions. What you do to manage hearing loss depends on its severity. Hearing aids are the currently the best solution to improve your hearing.
There are 3 types of hearing loss:
Consequences of hearing difficulties
Hearing loss can affect many aspects of your life. Conversations with family and friends, business meetings, telephone calls, or watching TV can become an unnecessary challenge. In many cases, hearing loss can lead to social isolation and a reduced quality of life. Family and friends, unfortunately, might not fully understand your hearing situation, which can lead to misunderstandings and feelings of frustration. Therefore, it is essential for the people around you – spouse, grandchildren, colleagues, friends – to understand the consequences of hearing loss.
Studies show that people with untreated progressive hearing loss are often unhappy and depressed. Hearing loss also hampers concentration, lowers self-esteem, and leads to social isolation.
If hearing difficulties go untreated, physical problems can arise, such as fatigue, exhaustion, headaches and stress. If you suspect a hearing loss, please call us to schedule a hearing test appointment with one of our audiologists.
Emergence and causes of hearing loss
Hearing difficulties fall into three categories: sound conduction, sensorineural, and sound perception.
- Sound conduction difficulties reduce, or completely block, the sound waves entering the inner ear.
- Sensorineural difficulties involve a pathological change of the inner ear or auditory nerve. In some cases, the auditory nerve does not send the received signal to the brain properly.
- Sound perception difficulties indicate that the brain does not process the incoming signal correctly.
Other causes of a hearing difficulty include diseases or certain medications. In the case of medical treatment, it is not necessarily the drug itself but the amount administered. An overdose of painkillers can have a damaging effect on one’s hearing that can be permanent. If an overdose occurred in the past, it is important to know the extent of inner ear damage to find an effective treatment.