Discover Your Hearing - Understanding hearing loss
Hearing is participating
Hearing and understanding provide a vital link to the world around you. They enable you to communicate and interact with others and are a source of enjoyment and information. The sense of hearing is often taken for granted and its gradual deterioration can impact your ability to actively participate in life.
How we hear
When a sound enters the outer ear, it causes the ear drum to vibrate. The sound is transmitted by three small bones from the middle to the inner ear. The inner ear contains a snail-like shaped structure called the cochlea which is filled with fluid and lined with sensory cells with microscopic fine hairs. These hairs move with the vibrations and convert the sound waves into nerve impulses which are sent to the brain. The result is the sound you hear.
The middle ear
Perforation of the eardrum, an infection or fluid in the middle ear are the most common causes of hearing loss in the middle ear. Many outer and middle ear problems can be treated by a doctor. In cases where treatment is not effective, remaining hearing loss can usually be helped by using hearing aids. Hearing loss caused by conditions of the outer or middle ear is referred to as a conductive hearing loss.
The inner ear
The majority of hearing problems result from damage to the inner ear. Typical causes are the natural aging process, excessive exposure to noise, medication that is toxic to the auditory system and head injuries. Generally, hearing loss resulting from inner ear damage cannot be reversed by medical treatment, but can largely be improved with hearing aids. This type of hearing loss is referred to as a sensorineural hearing loss.
The impact of hearing loss
If you have a hearing loss you have to put in more effort to hear and understand. Having to do this constantly can be tiring and you may find yourself withdrawing from social activities because of this. Hearing loss also affects the people around you. Conversations and interactions can become more strenuous, not only for you, but also for them. Studies show that people who took steps to address their hearing loss experience a noticeable improvement in many aspects of their lives.
When voices become less clear
Hearing loss can creep up gradually, without you realizing it at first. Some sounds remain audible while others become softer and harder to hear. As a result communication becomes increasingly challenging and requires more effort. It is the higher pitched sounds that are hardest to hear and understand. Softer, high-pitched consonants like “s”, “f”, “sh” and “t” play a key role in our ability to understand speech clearly. This is why people with a hearing loss often say “I can hear, but I don’t understand what’s being said.”
If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from hearing loss, get in touch with the professional, compassionate team at Soundwave Hearing. We can determine the degree of your hearing loss and suggest a suitable solution. We have a stellar range of hearing aids available at our Calgary clinic and can find the product that’s perfect for you. Call today, or drop us a line via email.