Facts And Questions Regarding Hearing Loss
How common is hearing loss?
Hearing impairment affects many people at different stages of their lives. 55% of people over 60 years of age have some degree of hearing loss, rising to over 70% of people by the time they reach 70 and 93% of people 81 years and older. This shows that if your hearing is deteriorating it isn’t unusual at all. Hearing loss can affect your quality of life and it’s never too late to do something about it.
What causes hearing loss?
Most hearing loss is caused by the ageing process, however regular exposure to loud noises, hereditary, and some illnesses can also cause hearing loss. Around 90% of all cases of hearing loss are because the microscopic hair cells in the cochlea (or inner ear) become damaged which limits their ability to detect soft, higher frequency sounds and means that they cannot send a complete signal to the brain. As a result, it becomes difficult to understand the consonants that allow us to understand speech.
What symptoms indicate that I may have a hearing loss?
The first sign of hearing loss is a difficulty in hearing certain sounds or tones clearly. For example, you may be unable to distinguish similar sounding words or hear higher pitched voices, such as those of children. Other signs include difficulty with cross-conversations, hearing at a distance such as in meetings, listening to the TV or radio, or hearing in large buildings where there may be echoes such as in churches or theatres.
I think I have a hearing problem. What should I do?
If you think you have a hearing loss, the first thing you need to do is have a hearing evaluation. It may be that a build-up of wax or an infection has temporarily affected your hearing, in which case our clinician can advise you on the best course of action. All our clinicians are trained to identify cases where a medical opinion or treatment is required, so they would refer you, if necessary, for treatment by your GP. If your hearing loss isn’t due to these problems, then our clinician will be able to recommend hearing aids suitable for the level of your hearing loss and your lifestyle.
If I suffer from noises in my ears, can this prevent me from wearing hearing aids?
This problem is called tinnitus and hearing aids can often help as people with a hearing loss often suffer from this condition. Your clinician can prescribe suitable hearing aids that can help you manage your tinnitus more effectively.
As I grow older, will my hearing worsen?
It is generally accepted that our hearing worsens with age. Not only have older people’s auditory system been exposed to noise for many years but also, as we age, all our faculties deteriorate, including our hearing. A hearing evaluation will quickly establish if you do have a hearing loss and our clinician will then be able to recommend suitable aids to improve your hearing. Regular hearing evaluations and aftercare will ensure that any deterioration in your hearing is picked up quickly so that your hearing aids always provide you with the best possible hearing improvement
Does somebody need to attend the hearing test with me?
We recommend somebody attends with you because:
- A loved one may assist us in understanding the situations where you experience hearing difficulties.
- Some people find it more comfortable to have a family member or a friend with a familiar voice with them.
- Hearing a familiar voice can often demonstrate the difference a hearing aid may make to you.
- During your assessment your clinician will give you a great deal of information and discuss with you the best hearing aid for your hearing loss and lifestyle – having someone with you can help you to remember all this detail afterwards.
Could you come to my home?
If mobility is a problem, we offer a home visiting service where one of our clinicians will visit you to evaluate and assess your hearing.
Do you offer any support once I’ve purchased my hearing aids from you?
The Hearing Company offers a 5 star aftercare programme which looks after your hearing and your hearing aids for life. This unrivalled programme of support includes a regular assessment and evaluation of your hearing, expert help and advice and demonstrations of new hearing aid technology to ensure you continue to get the most out of your hearing.
During your annual review aftercare appointments, we offer expert help and advice and a 5 Star Service check which includes:
- Cleaning or replacing tubing.
- Adjusting your hearing aid battery contacts.
- Cleaning the hearing aid casing and microphone duct.
- Checking for acoustic feedback.
- Checking your hearing aid performance.
- A free pack of hearing aid batteries.
We will also assess your hearing on a regular basis to monitor changes in your hearing to ensure your hearing aids continue to give you the best possible hearing improvement.
How can I keep my ears healthy?
- Never poke anything into your ears. The lining of the ear is delicate and can easily be damaged.
- To keep ears clean, wash the visible part of the ear and behind the ear using a little soap. Then wipe the soap away with rinsed fingers and dry with a thin towel.
- Don’t use cotton buds to clean ears. They can irritate the ear canal and push wax back inside, making it more difficult to remove.
- Don’t immerse ears in bath water as body bacteria may enter your ear canal and could cause an infection.
- Don’t ignore ear problems; they won’t improve without proper treatment. The longer an ear problem is neglected, the longer it may take to treat.
- If you experience any loss of hearing, whatever the possible cause, get it checked. We offer a comprehensive hearing evaluation and expert advice.