Hearing tends to deteriorate naturally as we grow old. It may not be noticeable until about 60 years of age or so. Nearly 60% of people over the age of 60 years have hearing deficit due to the ageing process.
Hearing loss could be due to many different reasons such as aging, wax build up, exposure to very loud noise, viral or bacterial infection, tumours, heart conditions or strokes, heredity, head injury, etc.
Common hearing problems are
- Tinnitus: accompanies many forms of hearing loss, including those that sometimes come with aging. People with tinnitus may hear a ringing, roaring, or some other noise inside their ears.
- Conductive hearing loss happens when something blocks the sounds that are carried from the eardrum (tympanic membrane) to the inner ear.
What will help you depends on your hearing problem. Some common solutions include:
- Hearing aids.A hearing aid is designed to amplify sounds and make them louder. The amount of amplification you need depends on the type and degree of your hearing loss. Hearing aids will amplify all sounds, but are particularly designed to cope with the sounds that make up speech. Sounds are made up of different pitches or ‘frequencies’.A hearing aid will not restore your hearing to normal, or ‘cure’ your deafness. It is simply an ‘aid to hearing’.
- Assistive/Adaptive Devices. There are many products that can help you live well with less-than-perfect hearing. The list below includes some examples of the many choices:
- Telephone amplifying devices
- TV and radio listening systems
- Assistive listening devices
- Alerts such as doorbells, smoke detectors, and alarm clocks
- Cochlear implants. If your deafness is severe, a doctor may suggest cochlear implants. In this surgery, the doctor puts a small electronic device under the skin behind the ear. The device sends the message past the non-working part of the inner ear and on to the brain.