About 3 million people in Australia has some type of hearing impairment and only half are over 60 years old.
Hearing loss is not merely "Speak up I can't hear you". Sometimes certain frequencies cannot be picked up so you may hear loud enough but miss certain words or sounds because they fall into the sound frequency that the ears cannot process.
• Sound problem
Outer or inner ear problems can have a large bearing on hearing.. Physical growth or obstructions like ear wax or abnormalities may block or inhibit the path of sound waves from reaching hearing nerves set further in the ear.
• Sensorineural problem
Sensory hearing loss, arising from deficiencies with the inner ear and neural hearing loss, associated with abnormalities of the auditory neural pathway are the two results. In most cases, sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and usually affects both ears.
• Causes of hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when inner ear nerve endings or nerve pathways to the brain are damaged. Too much noise, getting old, medicines, and many other causes results in the damage not only lowering the overall hearing level, but also affect understanding of speech, hearing certain frequencies, etc.
• Noise more a factor than age.
Constant loud noise is a more common cause of deafness than getting old. Industrial deafness caused by noisy industrial environments.
Mowing machinery, chainsaws, factory machinery, traffic and engine noises are everyday sources of loud noise. Loud music in night clubs is very detrimental. A new threat is now here - listening to music amplified through earphones - playing at sound levels that actually cause pain to the ears while listening.
Because hearing loss is a gradual over time, people do not realise they have a hearing problem until something occurs. The only way to be able to hear clearly, without having to resort to any type of surgery is to use a hearing aid.