While many of us may put off having a hearing health check, the bottom line is that the earlier hearing loss is detected the better the outcomes. So it makes sense to have a hearing test if you are experiencing any hearing issues.
What are the Early Signs of Hearing Loss?
- Struggling to hear conversations
- Needing the TV to be louder than the rest of the family
- Often asking others to repeat themselves
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus
What Signs Should I Look For in My Child?
Some of the early indicators of hearing difficulties in children include:
- Delay in speech
- Speaking in a loud voice
- Lack of consistent response to name
- Doesn’t startle at a loud noise
- History of ear infections
Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss varies in extent and also in the area affected – the outer ear, middle ear and the inner ear. Hearing loss can also be caused by different factors, which is why the audiologist will take a thorough history during your hearing test.
Conductive hearing loss refers to a condition where vibrations are not conducted to the cochlea. This is caused by a blockage or damage to the outer or middle ear. For example impacted ear wax, middle ear infections or a damaged ear drum can cause conductive hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss is the result of damage to hair cells or structure of the inner ear and can be caused by exposure to loud noise, head injuries, infections, trauma, certain medications and ageing.
Mixed hearing loss occurs when there are issues with the outer and inner ear. An example would be a hearing loss sustained from a middle ear infection as well as damage to the inner ear associated with ageing.
If you suspect you might be suffering from hearing loss it is important to have a comprehensive hearing test.