Introduction to hearing loss problems
Hearing loss or impairment is a common condition which affects around 1:6 of the UK population (approx 10 million).
The aging process leads to a reduced ability to hear clearly over time, whilst exposure to high noise levels socially or in the workplace can damage our hearing. There are three main types of hearing loss:-
- Sensorineural – this is when the hair cells in the inner ear/cochlear become permanently damaged and cannot transmit the sound signals to the brain (age related hearing loss & noise exposure).
- Conductive – this is when the sound cannot pass freely through to the ear drum and the bony structures of the middle ear (ear wax, ear infections, perforated ear drum etc.)
- Mixed – this is when there is a conductive hearing loss combined with a sensorineural loss, leading to possible problems with the outer, middle and inner ear.