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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What causes hearing loss?
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.
Who gets hearing loss?
Hearing loss is most common in the older population, but it can potentially affect anyone.
How is hearing loss diagnosed?
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 tumor.
How is hearing loss treated?
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.
Can hearing loss be prevented?
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.
Are there different types of hearing loss?
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.
What increases the chances of developing hearing loss?
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.
About this article
Author: Dr Nikki Wallis PhD, BSc
First answered: 20 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.1 out of 5
Votes: 84 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Hearing loss