- People sound like they are mumbling?
- Struggle to hear in groups?
- Television up louder than others need it?
- Difficulty hearing on the telephone?
- Miss the punchline to a joke?
These are all symptoms of a possible hearing loss which needs to be assessed by a professional. 6 million people in the UK have some level of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is the largest risk factor for dementia – the Lancet Commission (August 08, 2020) lists 12 risk factors for dementia. Untreated hearing loss is the largest single risk factor. Key message are listed concerning reducing risk across all factors; in relation to hearing loss the advice is:
“Encourage use of hearing aids for hearing loss and reduce hearing loss by protection of ears from excessive noise exposure.”
Hearing loss can cause frustrations, embarrassment, isolation, tiredness, lack of confidence.
Types of hearing loss
Sensori-neural-95% of all hearing losses. Nerve damage in the cochlea caused by natural deterioration, noise damage, illness or medications.
Conductive – ‘mechanical’ issue. This is damage or blockage in the middle ear such as wax, perforation of the eardrum or otosclerosis- some conductive losses can be corrected medically.