Loss of hearing can be gradual or sudden.
For most of us hearing loss occurs gradually and we may not notice the signs right away. We may not even recognise what we are missing and our families and friends are often the first to know.
Hearing test examines your hearing. It determines whether you are suffering from hearing loss and to what extent. Once the degree and type of hearing loss are determined, additional diagnostic option is considered where appropriate. Treatment for hearing loss can be medical, surgical or hearing amplification and hence it is best determined by the underlying cause of the hearing loss.
When should you have a hearing test?
A simple self evaluation will provide you some clues. Ask yourself if you experience Any of the following:
Difficulty understanding speech in quiet situations
Difficulty understanding speech in multi-talker situations such as in a group gathering
Difficulty understanding speech in background noise
Need to turn up the TV volume at higher setting than other family members
Friends and family members complain that you do not not hear them
Hearing the sound loud enough but not clearly
You find that people are mumbling
Experience a constant ringing or buzzing sound in your ears
If Yes, then a hearing assessment is recommended.
Based on your concerns, lifestyle goals and the assessment outcome, the audiologist will be able to explain to you your hearing status and suggest recommendations that will meet your specific needs.
Note that early and timely intervention in hearing impairment is very important.
Numerous studies have shown that untreated hearing loss can limits your ability to fully engage with the people and world around you and can affects your emotional and social well being, and your overall quality of life.
Hearing loss is one of the most common health problems affecting 1 in 3 over the age of 60
Hearing loss can be classified by which part of the auditory system is damaged. Some of the most common types of hearing loss are sensorineural, which relates to the nerves in the inner ear; conductive, which relates to problems with the ear canal, ear drum or middle ear and mixed, a combination of the two, i.e, both conductive and sensorineural.
One of the biggest risk factor for hearing loss is hazardous noise exposure. Read more about what makes a sound dangerous and how to protect your ears against noise induced hearing loss.