What is Hearing Loss? - A guide to Hearing Loss

To start with, what is ‘hearing loss?’ What do we define as hearing loss? Is it the same as ‘hard of hearing’ or is it interchangeable with deafness?

Basically, hearing loss is where your normal ability to hear is impaired to some degree. The extent of this will depend on the cause but the normal function of your ear – the capacity to transmit sound waves to the brain (which interprets and understands them) is disrupted.

There are figures which show that around 9 million people in the UK have some form of hearing loss or are deaf. And a high percentage of these are age-related hearing loss.

(Source: Statistics, RNID)

The main cause of hearing loss is a gradual decline caused by the ageing process. We can’t stop ourselves getting older but there are devices such as hearing aids which can help alleviate this problem. But which type of hearing loss do you have? There is more than one type of hearing loss, well, three in fact which are as follows:

  • Conductive hearing loss
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Mixed hearing loss

These are all discussed in greater detail in the types of hearing loss page. Whatever type you have the one thing in common with all of them is a gradual inability to hear certain sounds, noise or music. You may also find it difficult to hear what people are saying or to distinguish certain sounds. This is especially difficult if the conversation is taking place in a noisy environment. If you have noticed these signs or find that you are increasingly turning up the volume on the television or radio then you probably have some form of hearing loss.

Hearing Loss

Medic8® Guides

© Medic8® | All Rights Reserved