Prevalence of Hearing Loss

Most of the people were born with normal hearing. We enjoy listening to music, talk with little effort in noisy restaurants, even when there are people speaking, and waiters rushing about. One day, you find it more and more difficult to follow conversations, and find yourself exhausted and left out after pretending that you can hear after a long period of being in the crowd. 1 in 6 adults experiences some degree of hearing loss, and very often the hearing gets worse when we age.


Signs of hearing loss

People with hearing loss often find themselves:

  • Difficult to follow conversations in noisy environments like restaurants or trouble hearing from a distance such as in church or in lecture
  • Often ask people to repeat what they are saying
  • Need to turn up the volume of TV or radio so loud that others complain
  • Trouble hearing over the phone
  • Can’t understand when women and children speak to them.
  • Think that others seem to mumble

Types of Hearing Loss

There are three common types of hearing loss: conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss and mixed hearing loss.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the ear canal, eardrum or the tiny bones of the middle ear, resulting in a reduction of loudness of sound. Conductive loss may result from earwax blocking the ear canal, fluid in the middle ear, middle ear infection, obstructions in the ear canal, perforations (hole) in the eardrum or disease of any of the three middle ear bones.

Conductive hearing loss could be referred to medical experts for treatment, and the communication issue as a consequence of the untreatable conductive hearing loss can be resolved by hearing aids.

Conductive hearing loss

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs as a result of noise exposure for long period, aging (presbycusis), inner ear disease including infection or autoimmune disease, ototoxic drugs, heredity, etc. Most of the sensorineural hearing loss are irreversible yet could be managed by hearing aids.

Attention should be paid on sudden hearing loss or hearing loss which is linked to other symptoms which might need medical intervention.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss can result from the combination of the above causes of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Audiological and medical intervention plans are often used in combination for the best treatment outcome.

Consequence of Untreated Hearing Loss

Untreated hearing loss was found to be linked to dementia and the decrease of other cognitive abilities. People who have their hearing loss untreated, compared with those who do not have hearing loss, experienced a 30-40% higher risk of having their thinking abilities decline.

Consequence of untreated hearing loss

Adults who have hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia, and the trend goes up with the severity of hearing loss.

Keep the Conversation ON

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