Hearing Loss

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4 Steps to Enjoying Better Hearing

There are plenty of small changes you can make in your life to help you enjoy better hearing.

Turn down the volume

Any noises above 85 decibels are potentially damaging to your hearing. Keeping the noise down as much as possible preserves your hearing over the long term. If escaping the noise isn’t an option, invest in hearing protection so you’re not affected by constant loudness.

Stop smoking

Research shows that smoking has a significant association with hearing loss, particularly of the sensorineural type.

Cutting out the ciggies improves the quality of your hearing and has a positive impact on your overall health.

Book regular hearing tests

A complete audiogram is needed to determine the extent of any hearing impairment. Testing helps you confront ear-related complaints and lets you work with audiologists who provide treatment advice and useful action steps. Book a free hearing check with Freedom Hearing today.

Use hearing aids

Modern hearing aids are discreet and exceptionally effective. If you can’t overcome your hearing impairment with lifestyle changes, trust Freedom Hearing to provide the hearing aids that help you rediscover the sounds of life.

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The Risks of Not Treating Hearing Loss

  • Your alertness declines, which increases the risk to your personal safety because you can’t hear what’s happening around you.
  • Mental sharpness may lower as your brain isn’t stimulated as often as normal.
  • You may start to withdraw from social situations, especially if you feel embarrassed about your hearing loss.
  • Anxiety levels may rise as your issues with locating the sounds around you worsen.
  • Fatigue, stress, and tension levels increase and you may find yourself taking a negative attitude to life.
  • Untreated hearing loss is known to significantly increase risk of dementia.

Australian Hearing Specialist FAQs

While there are many factors that may cause hearing loss, age and exposure to loud noise are the two most common.

Presbycusis (age-related hearing loss) may progressively occur with age and could be caused by the degeneration of the auditory nerve and/or the cochlea.

On the other hand, single instances of extremely loud noise may also result in sudden hearing loss.

Prolonged exposure to loud noise may also lead to gradual sensorineural hearing loss as a result of damage to sensory cells.

If some of your hearing loss is occupational, it is called industrial deafness.

Other causes of hearing loss include infections, diseases, disorders, use of particular drugs, congenital causes, physical trauma, and obstructed ear canal.

Hearing loss is usually a gradual process, so the signs and symptoms are initially not always obvious.

Perhaps you have started noticing that your hearing isn’t as good as it used to be, or maybe there’s a bit of truth to your family and friends suggesting you need to see an audiologist.

Below are some of the common signs of hearing loss that you should look out for. Take note that these are just general checklists, and you still need a professional assessment.

  • You often ask others to repeat themselves said
  • People tell you that your radio or television volume is too loud
  • You have a history of exposure to loud noise in your workplace
  • You think people mumble a lot
  • You have to exert effort to focus on what people are saying
  • You find yourself straining to hear
  • You tend to turn one specific ear to the television
  • You find it hard to hear if there’s a lot of background noise (e.g. restaurants, shopping malls, large gatherings) 
  • You struggle more with children or female voices
  • You sometimes can’t tell which direction sound is coming from
  • You prefer to sit on a specific side of the table because you hear better from one ear
  • People tells you speak loudly
  • You find it difficult to hear from a distance in a quieter environment
  • You sometimes miss the phone ringing or the doorbell
  • You have a family history of hearing loss
  • You take medication that can harm your hearing
  • You have constant ringing (tinnitus) in your ears

You may be experiencing some signs of hearing loss if you find one or more of the above statements to be true. Seek professional advice from an audiologist.

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), also known as sudden deafness, is a loss of hearing over hours or days with no obvious cause.

It is a medical emergency and if you experience it, you should immediately go to the nearest hospital.

The cause of SSNHL could be varied such as viral infection, vascular (bleeding), or inflammatory.

According to Ear Science Institute Australia, mixed hearing loss happens if a person has both sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss.

A person who has worked in a loud factory for years (sensorineural hearing loss) but also suffers from an ear infection (conductive hearing loss) may be prone to mixed hearing loss.

Many factors may contribute to hearing loss during old age.

Hearing loss can progressively happen with age and could be caused by the degeneration of the auditory nerve and/or the cochlea.

Health conditions that are more common among seniors such as diabetes or hypertension may also contribute to hearing loss.

Drugs that are toxic to the auditory sensory cells such as chemotherapy medications may lead to hearing loss.

Many older Australians who experience hearing loss usually have a combination of both age-related hearing loss and noise-induced hearing loss, especially those who worked in noisy workplaces for years.

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