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Causes of Hearing Loss & Hearing Loss Symptoms | Bay Audio

Hearing problems can be felt suddenly, or they can reveal themselves gradually over time.

Regardless of how your hearing loss has come about or how long you’ve been experiencing it, there are clear signs that your ability to hear clearly has become significantly different to what it used to be.

Do I have hearing issues? There are a number of symptoms that may indicate you’re experiencing mild to severe levels of hearing loss.

Are you experiencing any of these hearing loss symptoms:

  • Family and friends suggest you may be having problems hearing them
  • You have difficulty understanding what people are saying to you
  • You have been exposed to loud noises regularly throughout your life
  • You are always asking people to repeat themselves
  • You have trouble understanding the direction sounds come from
  • You find higher pitched voices harder to hear e.g. children’s voices
  • Your television or radio is at full volume/high volume but you still have trouble hearing it
  • You find yourself lip reading in order to understand conversations
  • Background noise makes conversations difficult
  • You feel that everyone mumbles around you
  • You feel left out of conversations
  • You miss the doorbell or telephone ringing
  • Soft sounds are particularly difficult to hear
  • Differentiating between “S” and “F” sounds
  • Understanding phone conversations

Why do I have hearing loss?

There is no single answer to what causes hearing loss. While some hearing problems aren’t completely reversible, thanks to modern technology, a treatment for hearing loss has become much easier to find for nearly all types of hearing impairments.

It’s important to know the cause of your hearing problems to find an effective treatment. A comprehensive hearing test is the only way to confirm the type and extent of your hearing issues, which may also help to determine the cause.

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A hearing technology solution will improve your hearing health and help you regain your ability to hear clearly, so you can go back to enjoying life like before.

Causes of hearing loss

Nearly 40 million Americans suffer from hearing disorders, which makes it an important health concern. Fortunately, hearing loss has largely become well-understood although researchers continue studying the possible reasons for it. Often there’s no way of knowing the exact cause. There are many possibilities as to what causes hearing loss. The top ten include:

About 3.6 million Australians suffer from various levels of hearing loss. Almost half are between 16 and 64.

Diagnosing Hearing Loss

When it comes to hearing loss of any kind, early diagnosis is critical. This is why there are hearing tests for newborn babies that measure your child’s hearing nerves.

Classifying Your Hearing Loss

There are three different types of hearing loss. These are:

  • Conductive hearing loss – an outer or middle ear problem that affects the travel of sound to your inner ear
  • Sensorineural hearing loss – problems in the inner ear that affect the trave of sound to your brain
  • Mixed hearing loss – a combination of the two above problems

In terms of diagnosis for older children and adults, some steps may include:

  • Taking a medical history
  • Performing a physical exam
  • Asking questions about potential symptoms

If you are referred to an audiologist, they may perform a range of hearing tests. These may include:

Levels of hearing loss

Many audiologists use a common scale (as shown below, measured in Decibels or dB) to classify the severity of a person’s hearing problems:

Degree and range (db HL) of hearing loss

Normal: -10 to 15

Slight: 16 to 25

Mild: 26 to 40

Moderate: 41 to 55

Moderately severe: 56 to 70

Severe: 71 to 90

Profound: 91+

Source: Clark, J. G. (1981). Uses and abuses of hearing loss classification. Asha, 23, 493–500.

Hearing loss issues

Our ability to hear is central to how we perceive the world, how others perceive us, and our ability to enjoy life generally.

For many people, living with hearing loss issues leads to feelings of frustration, isolation and depression as conversations (and therefore social connections) become increasingly difficult to manage.

Additionally, managing day-to-day necessities from answering phone calls, shopping and asking for assistance becomes much more difficult, while simple pleasures such as TV and music become much more difficult to enjoy.

Research has also confirmed that hearing issues are connected with general cognitive decline.

Your Hearing Technology Experts

If you’re experiencing a diminished ability to hear, or you feel you’re suffering from one of the above conditions, it’s important to have your ears checked by a qualified professional trained in diagnosing what causes hearing loss. Early intervention is the best way to prevent hearing loss issues from getting worse and gives you more time to choose the most suitable and effective solutions to suit how you like to live.

As the hearing technology experts, Bay Audio can find the perfect hearing aid for you so you can continue enjoying life as normal, no matter what the cause of your hearing loss is. And the first step is undertaking a comprehensive hearing test, which is the only way to confirm your type and levels of hearing loss.

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