Who gets hearing loss?
Hearing loss is most common in the older population, but it can potentially affect anyone.
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Some of the more typical symptoms may include: Difficulty following conversation when many people are talking; Difficulty hearing the television and radio at volumes others can hear; Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds, and; Thinking that …
The most common cause of hearing loss is the normal ageing process. Other typical causes may include infection, congenital disorders, trauma and a build-up of earwax.
Diagnosis is made with a physical examination and hearing tests. In some cases, imaging scans may be used if there is a suspected fracture or tumour.
The treatment used will vary depending on the cause of hearing loss, but may include: medication to treat any underlying infection and inflammation; surgery to prevent chronic recurrent infection; surgical cochlear implantation, and; hearing aids.
Most cases of hearing loss can be prevented by: limiting exposure to excessive noise; maintaining good ear hygiene; keeping childhood vaccinations up to date, and; getting early treatment for ear infections.
Hearing loss can be: 1) Conductive - caused by damage to the outer or middle ear. 2) Sensorineural - caused by damage to the inner ear structures. 3) Mixed - caused by a combination of conductive and sensorineural.
Some risk factors for hearing loss may include: recurrent ear infections; advancing age; smoking; a family history of hearing difficulties; head trauma, and; excessive exposure to loud noises.