In Australia, one in seven people live with hearing loss1, and although they may share similar conditions, each individual will face their own unique challenges along the way.
If you're concerned about your own hearing, here are some of AudioClinic's frequently asked questions to help answer any queries you may have. If one of your own questions isn't here, feel free to raise them at your hearing assessment.
What causes hearing loss?
The causes of hearing loss varies from person to person; here are some of the most common:
- Overexposure to loud noises, known as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
- The natural ageing process, also referred to as age-related hearing loss. In Australia, 50-60 per cent of people over the age of 60 have some degree of hearing loss, according to the National Foundation for the Deaf2.
- Hereditary factors
- Injury or infection
- Smoking and obesity
Can hearing loss be cured?
Within the inner ear there are 15,000 tiny cochlear hair cells which are responsible for collecting external noises and passing them to the brain to be turned into recognisable sounds.
Once these delicate hair cells become damaged, they do not have the capacity to regenerate, leading to hearing loss. Although scientific research is still ongoing, researchers are still yet to find a cure.
How can I prevent hearing loss?
Noise-induced hearing loss makes up around 37 per cent of all hearing loss cases and is preventable1. You can reduce the risk for NIHL and the worsening of age-related hearing loss by taking the following steps:
- Reduce exposure to loud sounds – Being exposed to noise levels of 85 decibels (dB) for eight hours or more can cause permanent hearing loss. With the average concert and sport event reaching noise levels of 129 decibels (dB)3, it's important to take breaks and wear ear protection to avoid this risk.
- Use hearing protection – If you're frequently around louder noises or attending noisy events, it's important to wear ear protection such as earplugs. These effective devices can lower noise levels by 15-30 decibels (dB).
How do I check if I have hearing loss?
If you're worried about the state of your hearing, it's too important to ignore. At AudioClinic, we offer hearing assessments at no cost* for people over the age of 26. Here, we'll conduct thorough tests to determine just where your hearing abilities lie. If hearing aids are prescribed, we'll work with you to find the perfect devices for you and your needs. Call us on 1800 940 984 or click here to book.
1Deloitte Access Economics, THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC COST OF HEARING LOSS IN AUSTRALIA. Accessed December 2017
2The National Foundation for the Deaf, Age-related hearing loss. Accessed December 20173WebMD, Harmful Noise Levels – Topic Overview. Accessed December 2017