Do you think you have a hearing loss? Often it is difficult to tell because hearing loss usually occurs gradually such that the person is not aware of it. Use the following indicators to see if you MAY have a hearing loss:
If you experience any or all of these problems on a consistent basis, you may have a hearing loss. You are not alone. 10% of the Canadian population suffer from some level of hearing loss; as many as half of these people are under the age of 65. You may not notice hearing loss in yourself, but others around you will.
Hearing loss typically produces a decrease in the perception and understanding of sound, particularly under challenging listening conditions such as background noise. The perception of both simple and complex sounds (e.g. speech and music) is usually affected. Hearing loss may be associated with different types of health problems, but the end effect is one of 2 basic types of hearing loss:
Conductive Hearing Loss - occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the ear canal, ear drum or middle ear. Some of the important causes of conductive hearing loss include:
Conductive hearing loss is often reversible with medical or surgical treatment. If surgery is not recommended then hearing aids are usually appropriate.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss - occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or hearing nerve in the brain. Some of the important causes of sensorineural hearing loss are:
In 95% of cases the tumor affects only 1 ear and in 5% of cases the problem is linked to an inherited syndrome called neurofibromatosis Type 2.
Sensorineural hearing loss is typically a permanent type of hearing loss that usually can be helped with a hearing aid or other type of assisstive listening device.
A Mixed Hearing Loss occurs when someone has a combination of a conductive hearing loss and a sensorineural hearing loss.
If you suspect that you may have a hearing loss you should see a qualified audiologist to have your hearing evaluated. In some provinces in Canada you can refer yourself directly to an audiologist without a doctor's referral.
If you suspect that you may have a hearing loss you should see a qualified audiologist to have your hearing evaluated. In many provinces in Canada you can see an audiologist without a doctor's referral.
They will provide the full range of tests necessary to determine the exact nature of your hearing loss and whether your condition warrants medical attention. No one is too young to have a hearing test, even a newborn. Many audiologists are also qualified to inform you about hearing aids.
They can select, fit and even dispense hearing aids and other assistive listening devices such as FM systems and infrared systems. As well they provide patient and family counseling about living with a hearing loss and hearing conservation programs to prevent hearing loss.