May 7th, 2024 Article

As we journey through life, our bodies undergo various changes, some of which we expect, like greying hair, and some we may not anticipate, like hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis, is a common occurrence, particularly among older adults. In fact, 1 in 5 adults in the UK have some degree of age-related hearing loss.

JEC Dorchester opening blogTypes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can manifest in different ways, classified into three primary types:

  1. Conductive: This involves issues with the outer or middle ear.
  2. Sensorineural: Involving the inner ear, this type of hearing loss is often age-related.
  3. Mixed: A combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

Factors Contributing to Hearing Loss

Ageing and exposure to loud noises are common culprits behind hearing loss. However, other factors, such as excessive earwax build-up, can also impair hearing temporarily.

Recognising the Symptoms

Identifying the signs of hearing loss is crucial for early intervention. Symptoms may include difficulty understanding speech, especially in noisy environments, increased volume requirements for audio devices, and avoidance of social situations due to hearing challenges.

Seeking Professional Help

While gradual hearing loss may not be immediately noticeable, sudden changes in hearing, particularly in one ear, warrant prompt medical attention. Consulting with a healthcare provider can help address concerns and explore treatment options.

Causes and Risk Factors

Various factors contribute to hearing loss, including damage to the inner ear, excessive noise exposure, hereditary predispositions, and certain medications or illnesses.

Prevention and Management Strategies

Preventing hearing loss involves minimising exposure to loud noises, using protective gear in noisy environments, and seeking regular hearing tests, especially for those working in high-noise settings. Additionally, being mindful of recreational activities and their potential impact on hearing health can aid in preserving auditory function.

Conclusion

Age-related hearing loss may be a common part of ageing, but it doesn’t have to diminish one’s quality of life. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and preventative measures, individuals can take proactive steps to safeguard their hearing and maintain their overall well-being as they age.

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