The impact of hearing loss

And the importance of early intervention

What causes hearing loss?

About hearing loss

A hearing loss is when you are not able to hear as well as someone with normal hearing. It can differ in severity from mild to profound and only affect one ear or both ears. A person can be born with a hearing loss, or it can develop over time throughout life.

Hearing loss can be caused by middle ear infections, noise exposure, ageing and ototoxic medications that damage the cochlear in the inner ear. These different types of hearing loss may be temporary or permanent. When there is damage to the cochlear, the hearing loss is permanent and cannot be restored to what was once your normal level of hearing. Hearing loss may also cause other symptoms such as a ringing or buzzing noise in the ears called tinnitus or dizziness and imbalance. If you are noticing any of these concerns, it is important to have your hearing checked.

Audiologist shows client autonomy of the ear
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Broad impact

Hearing loss can cause a reduction in speech understanding, but it can also have a much broader and profound impact on an individual’s life. When you have a hearing loss, you might notice that there are situations where you wished you could hear more clearly.
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Others may notice first

When you are experiencing a hearing loss, people in your household may notice the television volume is slower rising or they may comment that you are asking for a lot of repeats in conversations. Often if a hearing loss is slowly progressing over time, it is our loved ones that notice we are not hearing as well before we do.
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Annual hearing check

One in six Australians have hearing loss. It takes them seven years on average to do something about their hearing loss. However, this can have very significant effects on a person’s health and wellbeing. Therefore, an annual hearing check is recommended for all Australian’s aged over 50 years old.

Better quality of life

How audiology services can help

Hearing Care Providers are essential to your hearing health

It is important to establish a relationship with an independent audiology clinic early on, before you are experiencing hearing concerns, so that your hearing care provider can benchmark your hearing before there is a problem and monitor your hearing as you age. Booking an appointment with an independent hearing clinic to check your hearing also gives you an opportunity to learn how to protect your hearing. They will be able to give you evidence-based advice on what precautions you need to take in your daily life and where you are at risk of developing a hearing loss. Noise exposure is all around us, when we are at leisure, sports, activities at home such as mowing the lawn, as well as at noise exposure at work.

Audiology clinics are essential in helping you manage and treat your hearing loss, helping you live better and maintain a good quality of life. When a hearing loss is left untreated, this can cause social isolation, put you at an increased risk of cognitive decline, and cause irreversible damage to auditory processing skills in the brain. These risks are often permanent and long-lasting.

Audiologist greeting silver-haired woman
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Make a hearing health appointment

Take action

Hearing loss can be a subtle, gradual decline or it can be a sudden, rapid change over a night or a few days. If you experience a sudden change in your hearing or a sudden onset of ringing or buzzing noises in one or both ears, it is imperative that you seek medical advice from your GP and make an appointment with your local hearing care clinic urgently. This sudden change to your hearing may be remediated if appropriate medical treatment is accessed in a timely manner.

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