IT does not mean you need a hearing aid just because you’re reading this. But something has made you interested. Maybe you have noticed a loss of hearing over the years and you considering a hearing aid. Or maybe you are just curious.
Take a few minutes to browse through this article. It could answer a lot of your questions.
How can hearing loss happen? What does it have to do with noise exposure?
Hearing loss happens when, for some reason, sound is not properly transmitted from outside the ear to the brain, where it is interpreted.
Hearing losses can be of different degrees, ranging from very mild to profound or total deafness.The categories are based on the result of a hearing test. Hearing loss can be grouped into conductive, sensorineural and mixed.
a) Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a blockage in the outer or middle ear, which prevents sound coming into the inner ear. One of the most common causes of conductive hearing loss is blockage in the external ear canal, typically caused by earwax buildup or infection. Most cases are temporary and can be corrected with proper medical treatment.
b) Sensorineural hearing loss may result from the damage of sensory cells of nerve fibres of the cochlea in the inner ear. This damage can happen congenitally (from birth), or due to severe illness affecting the cochlea and hearing nerve, and noise exposure. This type of hearing loss, more often than not, can be managed by usage of hearing aids.
c) Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Management of this type of hearing loss is a combination of medical treatment and hearing aids usage.
It is a noisy world out there
It is a well known fact that the cochlea can be permanently damaged by exposure to loud noises.
It is therefore important that you are aware of the dangers and how you can minimize the risk to your hearing.
Noise-induced hearing loss can happen when an individual is regularly exposed to noise over a long period of time.
The hearing loss will start at the higher frequencies, which will gradually extends to other frequencies, and worsens over time. This type of hearing loss can also occur if an individual is exposed to a very high sound level foe a short period of time.
This is called acoustic trauma. With very intense sounds, the trauma can cause a perforation of the eardrum.
What are the effects of noise-induced hearing loss?
Almost always, individuals with noise-induced hearing loss (or any hearing loss for that matter) are often unaware of any hearing loss until the mid-frequency sounds are affected.
However, they may be conscious of difficulties in following conversations when there is a lot of background noise. Hearing impaired individuals will complain that sounds are distorted and that speech seems ‘muffled’.
The lack of clarity is usually due to the detrimental effects of a high frequency hearing loss on certain speech sounds such /s/, /sh/, and /f/.
It can become very troublesome and persistent and is often people’s main complaint.
Management of noise-induced hearing loss
It is always worth trying a hearing aid if you have noise-induced hearing loss. Whilst it will never be able to restore your hearing to normal, the technology in a digital hearing aid may improve your hearing in particular situations and reduce your awareness of any tinnitus.
For people who are potentially susceptible to noise-induced hearing loss, usage of noise protection earplugs can greatly reduce the possibility of the hearing loss. However, it is best just to stay away from the noise.
Your hearing care professionals
Innovative Hearing Sdn Bhd, through its InnoHear centres, offers comprehensive screening services and diagnostic testing for both adults and children. InnoHear Centres prescribe and provide digital hearing aids and tinnitus therapy to individuals with hearing loss and tinnitus. Talk to our audiologists and hearing care professionals for different options of digital hearing aids, tinnitus management and custom-made earplugs.
Visit their centres at:
Kuala Lumpur: Tingkat 1, Bangunan TH, No.148, Jalan Ipoh, (03-4041 2663)
Dmansara: PS-2-1, Blok Pelangi Sentral, PJU 6, Persiaran Surian, Petaling Jaya (03-6156 2663)
Klang 43A, Jalan Seri Sarawak 20/A, Taman Sri Andalas, Klang, Selangor (03-3325 8663)
Ipoh: C-2-9, Greentown Suria, Jalan Dato’ Seri Ahmad Said, Ipoh (05-255 2663)
Brunei: Vitaliv Health & wellness Clinic, A6, ground Floor, Aman Complex, Jalan Muara BC3315, Brunei Darussalam (+673 2 335577).