What causes hearing loss?
Around one in six (1:6) Australians suffer from some degree
of hearing impairment. Hearing Loss can be either present
at birth (congenital) or occur later in life (acquired).
The most common causes of hearing loss are ageing and excessive exposure
to loud sounds. The effects of age and noise exposure are additive so that
noise exposure may cause hearing loss in middle age that would not otherwise
occur until old age. This diminishes the ability to distinguish similar speech sounds,
or sounds heard simultaneously, such as speech in a noisy setting.
Noise induced hearing loss is associated with 37 percent (37%) of all hearing loss.
Workplace noise and recreational noise are the most common source of noise injury
and the most common form of preventable hearing loss.
What is hearing loss?
Hearing loss occurs when a part of the ear
(outer, middle and/or inner ear) is missing,
misshapen, or damaged. Hearing problems
may be present at birth (congenital) or develop
later in life (acquired). Some people can hear
in one ear, but not the other (unilateral); some
have problems in both ears (bilateral).
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