Consumer Guide 2 - Page 5

Common types of Hearing Loss Age-Related Hearing Loss By the age of 50, 40% of us will have hearing loss - and by age 70, that figure rises to 70%, i.e. the majority. Some of us may be genetically more inclined towards age-related hearing loss, but as it is so common, it’s just regarded as part of the ageing process. In this case, over time we lose our ability to hear softer, higher pitched sounds more than others. However, the process is gradual and often goes unnoticed. So for now, you could be suffering needlessly without knowing it. There’s no real way to prevent age-related loss, although it’s understood that unhealthy life choices can worsen the effect (eg. smoking). But hearing can still be improved with the help of hearing aids, especially if the problem is tackled early on. Conductive or Mixed Hearing Loss The conducting parts of the ear (the outer and Noise-Induced Hearing Loss middle) can be blocked or damaged, either permanently or temporarily (eg. earwax). The second most common form of hearing loss can result from long term exposure to explosion-type sounds, or periodic exposure over a long period like attending a couple of concerts (where after a few months the hearing loss remains). Noise-induced hearing loss is permament and irreversible. 90% of young people have experienced ringing in their ears after a night out - this is a sign of hearing damage! The problem could be a damaged bone or a perforated eardrum, or a build-up of fluid from a bad cold. This problem often requires medical intervention initially and can explain a fluctuating hearing loss. If we can see any physical irregularities, then we'll let you see for yourself with our video otoscope. 5