Hearing loss is a common problem that often develops with age oris caused by repeated exposure to loud noises.
Action on Hearing Loss estimates that there are more than 10 million (about 1 in 6) people in the UKwith some degree of hearing impairmentor deafness.
Hearing loss can occur suddenly, but usually develops gradually. General signs of hearing loss can include:
There aretwomain types of hearing loss, depending on where the problem lies:
It's also possible to have both these types of hearing loss. This is known as mixed hearing loss.
Somepeople are born with hearing loss, but most cases develop as you get older.
This includes not having music or the television on at aloud volume at home and usingear protection at loud music events or in noisy work environments.
You should also seeyour GP ifyou have signs of an ear infection, such as flu -like symptoms, severe earache , dischargeor hearing loss.
In cases of sensorineural hearing loss, there are several options that may help to improve a persons ability to hear and communicate. These include:
Conductive hearing loss is sometimes temporary and can be treated with medication or minor surgery, if necessary. However, more major surgery may be required to fix the ear drum or hearing bones. If conventional hearing aids don't work, there are also some implantable devices for this type of hearing loss, such as a Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHAs).
Hearing loss is a common problem that often develops with age or is caused by repeated exposure to loud noises.
Hearing loss is sometimes sudden, but often it's gradual and you may not notice it at first. Being aware of the early signs can help you identify the problem quickly.
Age and loud noises are the most common causes of sensorineural hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss occurs when sounds are unable to pass into the inner ear
See your GP if you're having problems with your hearing. They'll examine your ears and carry out some simple hearing tests
How hearing loss is treated depends on the underlying cause of the condition.
The ears are fragile structures that can be damaged in many ways, so it's not always possible to prevent hearing loss.
Susan is a community mental health nurse helping deaf people with mental illnesses. She talks about how attitudes to deafness have changed and says deafness
Millies hearing started deteriorating when she was a child. She talks about learning to cope with the hearing loss and shows that it hasn't stopped her doing