About Hearing Loss
“Hearing loss can occur at any age for a variety of reasons. Babies can be born with hearing loss due to complications of prematurity, family genetics, or a syndrome, to name a few. Addressing it early supports language and literacy development. An adult acquires a hearing loss for many reasons such as the natural aging process, noise exposure, or head trauma. Untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation and cognitive decline. Some hearing losses occur due to middle or inner ear infections and can be treated with medication or surgery, in some cases. Most cases of permanent hearing loss are managed through the use of personal hearing aids, cochlear implants, and/or assistive listening devices. Hearing loss can be gradual or sudden and often the true cause is unknown. For these reasons, it is important that individuals have their hearing assessed by an Audiologist as part of a routine health check-up.”
- Canadian Academy of Audiology
People with hearing loss are more likely to experience social isolation and depression as their hearing deteriorates. Not being able to understand speech leads to frustration which can turn into embarrassment, withdrawal from social situations and loneliness. These psychological effects can be easily avoided through correct assessment and diagnosis of the hearing problem by an Audiologist in conjunction with appropriate treatment options such as communication strategies, assistive listening devices, hearing aids, FM systems, etc.
How do we hear?
Sound waves enter the outer ear canal and gets transmitted through the ear canal to the middle ear where there are three tiny bones or ossicles which then transmits the sound vibrations to the inner ear. The cochlea lies within the inner ear and is a snail shaped organ that is filled with fluid and contains thousands of tiny hair cells. The vibrations travel through the cochlea causing the fluid to bend the hair cells. As the hair cells bend, the nerve impulses are passed through the auditory nerve to the brain where they are interpreted and analyzed as sound.