Understanding Hearing Problems

Hearing problems affect a great number of people around the world and it affects them in a variety of ways. Over time, hearing problems can influence your communication and relationships with others in a negative way. So by leaving your hearing impairment untreated, a physical condition may also become a psychological one. This is why it is so important to seek a solution sooner rather than later.

If you do have hearing problems, you’re not alone. In fact, you are one of about 500 million people worldwide. In most countries, this means more than 1 in 6 people have some degree of hearing impairment. It’s reassuring to know that a properly fitted hearing instrument can improve communication ability in at least 90% of people with hearing impairment. This means you can be quite confident that we have a solution for you.

Symptoms of Hearing Problems

There are different types of hearing loss, varying degrees of severity, and several causes. But the symptoms of hearing loss are basically the same.

  • Do people always comment that the volume on your TV or radio is too loud?
  • Have you missed visits and calls from people because you didn’t hear the doorbell or telephone ringing?
  • Do you have trouble following conversations in crowded or noisy settings?
  • Do people seem to mumble and not speak clearly during conversation?
  • Do people tell you that you speak too loudly?
  • Do you frequently ask people to repeat themselves?
  • Do your friends and family suggest that you have a hearing problem?
  • Do you have a difficult time understanding the words of popular songs when listening to the radio?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, there is a chance that you may have some degree of hearing loss. Contact Whitsunday Hearing today and book a hearing test.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when the outer or middle ear is not working properly. Consequently, sound waves cannot be efficiently conducted to the inner ear. Common causes of a conductive hearing loss are wax build up or blockage by a small object (beads, cotton bud tips, insects), an infection to the outer or middle ear, a ruptured or scarred ear drum and other outer or middle ear disorders.

Children may often experience “glue ear”, while in some adults, a disease known as otosclerosis, causes the middle ear bones to move less effectively.

In some instances, a conductive hearing loss can be helped through medical intervention.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss and is the result of damage to the inner ear and its connecting nerves.

The most common cause of sensorineural hearing loss is called presbyacusis and is related to the aging process. Typically, presbyacusis affects the high pitched sounds first and deteriorates further with age. Excessive noise exposure shows a similar pattern to presbyacusis.

Other causes of sensorineural hearing loss include traumatic injury, genetic disorders, tumors, infections (viral and bacterial) affecting the inner ear spaces and high doses of some medications.

Mixed Hearing Loss

A mixed hearing loss is the simultaneous occurrence of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Treatment options for this type of impairment include both medical intervention and hearing instruments. A mixed hearing loss is treated according to the severity, the given anatomic structures, and other possible influence factors. Therefore, all of the hearing solutions mentioned previously might apply here:

  • Conventional hearing instruments
  • Bone conduction hearing instruments
  • Bone-anchored hearing instruments (BAHA)
  • Cochlear implants (CI)