Hearing loss happens when there is a problem with one or more parts of the ear. Hearing loss is not like listening to sounds with the volume turned down. Instead, certain sounds or tones are more difficult to hear than others.
Causes of hearing loss can include:
Hearing loss is a natural part of aging. Between the ages of 30 to 40, the hair cells in the inner ear begin to die. By the age of 60 to 65, about 30% of the population has a hearing loss that is significant enough to affect their ability to hear everyday sounds, such as speech. Hearing loss ranges from difficulty hearing soft sounds or understanding speech to complete deafness. For approximately one in 10 people, the hearing loss eventually reaches a point where hearing aids are required.
Exposure to noise
Exposure to noise that can damage your hearing happens at home and the workplace. Certain occupations such as industrial workers, musicians, firefighters, police officers, farmers and construction workers spend a large part of their working day exposed to high levels of prolonged noise. Everyday you are exposed to noise at home with the use of hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, MP3s, surround sound speakers, leaf blowers, lawnmowers, and more.
Disease, ear infections, certain medications, heredity or physical damage can also play a role in hearing loss.
The majority of people with hearing loss can significantly improve their ability to hear and their quality of life with the use of hearing aids.