Our hearing is something that we can easily take for granted until something goes wrong. While hearing loss can be the result of injury or trauma, for many people it is a gradual condition which becomes more noticeable over time.
However, it's not always immediately obvious when there's a problem with your hearing. We're taking a look at some of the common causes of hearing loss and why it's important to get your ears checked sooner rather than later.
Common causes of hearing loss
- Hereditary factors – Genetics can play a role in some types of hearing loss, in particular how your ears change as you age.
- Ageing – Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, is another major contributor to the prevalence of hearing problems around the world.
- Excessive exposure to loud noise – Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is an avoidable condition that accounts for over a third of all hearing loss cases in Australia1.
Would you be able to detect your own hearing loss?
Here in Australia, one in six people are estimated to have some degree of hearing loss2. In addition, the HCIA reports that over 33 per cent of people suffer from a preventable cause of hearing loss3.
NIHL is one such preventable type of hearing loss, and can be avoided my minimising your exposure to loud noise. However, if you think that you aren't at risk because you don't work in a noisy environment, you may need to think again.
A report from the US notes that about 24 per cent of adults between the ages of 20-69 who believe that their hearing is 'good' to 'excellent' in fact have some degree of hearing damage4. Furthermore, the same source reports that about 20 per cent of adults who say they aren't exposed to loud noise at work have hearing damage4.
These findings suggest that even though you may not face occupational noise hazards, you aren't immune to the dangers of hearing loss.
How can you protect yourself against preventable hearing loss?
There are plenty of ways you can lessen your risk of NIHL. Wearing ear protection such as ear plugs or ear muffs in noisy situations is one way – whether you work on a construction site or a farm, or you're mowing the lawn.
In addition, hearing protection should also be considered in recreational situations, whether you're listening to music at home or attending a concert. By limiting the volume or wearing ear plugs you can help to protect your ears for years to come.
Why should you get a hearing check?
If you suspect that your hearing might have changed, it's a good idea to have your ears checked just in case. When left untreated, hearing loss can become worse, as noted by the Scripps Research Institute.
Here in Australia, it's estimated that people wait seven years on average before seeking help for a hearing problem according to the Hearing Care Industry Association. Don't let yourself become another statistic. To book your FREE* hearing test with AudioClinic, you can click here, or give us a call on 1800 940 984.
1Department of Education and Training, Noise Induced Hearing Loss. Accessed April, 2017.
2HCIA, About hearing loss. Accessed April, 2017.
3HCIA, The facts about hearing health in Australia. Accessed April, 2017.
4CDC, Too Loud! For Too Long! Accessed April, 2017.
5The Scripps Research Institute, Deafness and hearing loss research. Accessed April, 2017.