Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss affects 1 in 6 Australians

For many people, hearing loss is a problem every day.

Struggling to communicate with family and friends, straining to hear on the phone at work, or trying to hear at a noisy restaurant. Hearing loss can be frustrating. It can also lead to isolation and depression. People withdraw from their social life because it’s too difficult to hear.

What are the biggest causes of Hearing Loss?

  1. It’s in the genes – some people inherit hearing loss from their parents. It may result from problems during pregnancy or birth.
  2. It’s a natural part of ageing – just like the rest of your body, your hearing can deteriorate over time through ‘wear and tear’.
  3. Exposure to loud noise – workplaces can be noisy. Even listening to your favourite music too loud can damage the tiny hair and nerve cells in your ear. This prevents sound signals being sent to the brain, and results in hearing loss.
  4. Illness can cause hearing loss – an infection or a damaged ear-drum can affect your hearing temporarily – or for good. Abnormal bone growths or tumours will also impact on your hearing if left untreated.
  5. Wax build-up – the wax in your ear has a protective purpose, but sometimes too much wax can build-up and block the ear. This is usually a temporary issue. Once the wax is removed, hearing is restored.
  6. Certain medication and chemicals can damage your hearing – some antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs are known to damage people’s hearing. Common drugs such as aspirin can also affect hearing if taken in high doses.
  7. Physical damage – a sudden loud noise, a change in air pressure, being overenthusiastic with a cotton bud. All these can rupture the ear drum and affect your hearing.

What are the different types of Hearing Loss?

  • Adult-onset Hearing Loss – hearing loss due to ageing or noise exposure.
  • Mild Hearing Loss – not able to hear and repeat words spoken in a normal voice when the speaker is 1 metre away.
  • Moderate Hearing Loss – not able to hear and repeat words spoken in a raised voice when the speaker is 1 metre away.
  • Severe Hearing Loss (Profound) – not able to hear words when they’re shouted into the ‘better’ ear.

(1) World Health Organisation, P2

How to protect your hearing

  • Protect your ears from loud noises at work – using ear muffs or specially designed ear plugs can help protect your hearing. This is especially useful if you are constantly exposed to noise at work.
  • Avoid the risk of damage when you’re having fun – listening to music is one of life’s pleasures. But to avoid damaging your hearing, it’s worth turning the volume down. If you attend loud concerts or get involved in a recreational activity that involves loud noise, protect your ears with ear plugs.
  • Have your ears tested regularly – it’s worth having your hearing checked from time to time, especially if you work in a noisy environment. If you do this regularly, you’ll detect any loss of hearing. You can then take measures to protect your hearing from any further damage.

Learn more about hearing loss or call 1300 017 732 and book an appointment today