What is hearing loss?

When people struggle to understand speech or hear certain sounds, we call it a hearing loss. Some people are born hearing impaired, however, most people with hearing loss find their problems develop over time. Since it affects one of our most important senses, it is essential to seek effective treatment.

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  • Fråga 1/5

    Upplever du att människor omkring dig mumlar eller talar tyst?
    Ja Nej
  • Fråga 2/5

    Behöver du skruva upp volymen för att höra tv:n?
    Ja Nej
  • Fråga 3/5

    Ber du ofta dina familjemedlemmar och dina vänner att upprepa vad de just sagt?
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  • Fragå 4/5

    Måste du titta rakt på människor för att förstå vad de säger?
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  • Fråga 5/5

    Tycker du att det är svårt att hänga med i samtalet på stökiga platser som restauranger och kaféer?
    Ja Nej

De som lider av nedsatt hörsel brukar tycka att det är besvärligt att vistas i miljöer med bakgrundsljud, särskilt restauranger och offentliga platser. De har ofta svårt att höra ljusa ljud. På grund av detta har personer med nedsatt hörsel svårt att höra ljuden s, f och sje- eller tje. Detta gör att man blir trött av samtal. Nedsatt hörsel är därför en av orsakerna till att folk drar sig undan sociala sammanhang.

Fakta om nedsatt hörsel

Man får vanligtvis diagnosen nedsatt hörsel om man inte kan höra 25 decibel i minst ett öra under ett hörseltest. Dövhet klassificeras vanligtvis som mycket gravt nedsatt hörsel. Den lägsta ljudnivå som folk med mycket gravt nedsatt hörsel kan höra är cirka 95 dB.

Många upplever att de hör bättre på det ena örat än på det andra. När man har nedsatt hörsel på ena örat brukar man säga att man har en ensidig hörselnedsättning. Cirka 69 procent av alla som använder hörapparat i Europa har två apparater

  • Hearing loss figures

  • About 1 in 6 people are currently hearing impaired (about 1.1 billion people)

  • At the age of 65, one 1 in 3 people has a hearing loss

  • Hearing loss is the 3rd most common health condition among adults

  • Almost 15% of children aged 6-19 have some degree of hearing impairment in the USA

  • On average, people with hearing loss wait 8 years before getting treatment

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Types of hearing loss

Hearing problems can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound. Most people classified with ‘deafness’ have profound hearing loss, which implies very little or no hearing. It is possible to develop loss of hearing in one ear, although it usually affects both ears. Depending on the cause, hearing impairment can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. Sudden hearing loss typically results from a loud noise event.

Physically, there are two types of hearing loss: sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss.

What is tinnitus?

People with and without hearing loss hear sounds such as wooshing, or ringing in the ears. Tinnitus is related to hearing loss, and people can gain some tinnitus relief from hearing aids. There is no tinnitus cure, but various tinnitus treatments can help to reduce the symptoms and their associated problems.

Taking action on hearing loss – Visiting a professional

This first step is the critical one. But once you’ve made the first appointment with an audiologist, do you know what to do? One important consideration is to avoid going alone. When someone has hearing loss, it is often the people around them who notice more than the person themselves. Other people will be able to contribute more insights and the more information the audiologist gets, the more effective the treatment can be.

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Causes of hearing loss

Many people experience a gradual loss of hearing as they get older. Noise-induced hearing loss results from repeated exposure to loud noises such as machinery and loud music. A more sudden hearing loss can result from exposure to very loud noises. Hearing loss that is noise induced often results from damage to the hair cells in the cochlear, which lose sensitivity. Among the other hearing loss causes are drugs, diseases, and physical trauma.

How is it to live with hearing loss?

Living with hearing loss takes a little adjustment, but with modern treatment and hearing instruments, you can live a full and active life. Small, invisible hearing aids can sit so far in the ear canal they are undetectable, and well out of the way – so you can continue with energetic activities and forget you are wearing them. Besides hearing aids, there a few simple considerations that can help you adjust.

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