Hearing loss is a common problem that often develops with age or is caused by repeated exposure to loud noises. It is estimated that over ten million people in the UK have some form of hearing loss and that there are at least 4 million people who don’t wear hearing aids that would benefit from them. Hearing loss cannot be cured; however it can be greatly improved by wearing a hearing system, making it possible to communicate and participate in everyday activities with less stress.
Your outer ear acts like a dish that collects sound waves. These sound waves travel along the ear canal and vibrate against the ear drum. In the middle ear, three tiny bones transfer these vibrations to the fluid filled Cochlea in the inner ear. This creates ripples in the fluid which bend the hair cells in the Cochlea. This movement, in turn, is converted into electrical impulses that are carried through the auditory nerve to the brain, where they are processed into meaningful information.
Age related hearing loss occurs gradually over time – you may not notice it until it has become very obvious. Unfortunately, it is part of the natural aging process by which the hair cells in the inner ear begin to die, causing your hearing to deteriorate over time. The older you get, the more likely it will be that you will develop some form of hearing loss.
HOW CAN HEARING AIDS HELP ME?
If you feel that you may have a hearing loss, a hearing aid can help. Most people with a hearing loss have trouble understanding speech – they hear the sounds but the clarity is often missing. Hearing aids work by amplifying the sound vibrations entering the ear, which helps the surviving hair cells in the inner ear to convert the vibrations into sounds, increasing the clarity of the speech you hear. Some modern digital hearing aids have advanced features which can help with wind noise reduction, localization of sounds and hearing speech in a crowded room.
It is important to note that every hearing loss is different and a hearing aid that may suit one patient may not be suitable for another. The best way to find out which style and technology level would suit your hearing loss is to book an appointment with one of our audiologists for a hearing assessment.