Do you have a hearing problem?
Do you have trouble hearing conversations with family and friends? If so, then you might like to find out if you have a hearing loss. Hearing loss can occur for many reasons. The most common type is a high-pitched hearing loss acquired over a person’s life, through repeated exposure to damaging sound, or ageing. This type of hearing loss is called ‘sensorineural’ hearing loss. It is caused by damage to the hair cells or the nerves that take the sensation of sound to the brain.

It often makes the high-pitched parts of speech hard to understand. Asking others to repeat themselves often could be a sign you have this type of hearing loss. If that’s the case, go along and have a hearing test at an audiology centre and find out.

What technology can best manage hearing loss?
Today there is a variety of different technologies to help people with their hearing difficulties. The type of hearing loss and the listening needs of the wearer will help decide which technology is best. In general, a hearing aid is the most effective way to manage a mild to severe ‘sensorineural’ hearing loss.

For other kinds of hearing loss, there are other devices that can help. For example, bone conduction hearing aids or bone conduction implants are available for people who have problems in getting sound through to their inner ear, which is also known as a conductive hearing loss. These devices direct the sound straight the inner ear.

Some people with more severe hearing loss may be better suited to a cochlear implant. Cochlear implant clinics have guidelines that outline the suitability criteria for people considering a cochlear implant. Among other factors, this criteria looks at the degree of hearing loss and the benefit currently provided by hearing aids, in terms of speech clarity. An audiologist will be able to assist you in working out the pros and cons of having a cochlear implant.

Finding out more
If you want to know more about hearing devices and what other options are available, we recommend visiting the HEARnet website by clicking this link “hearing aids” and/or book an appointment with an audiologist. Audiologists are qualified professionals experienced in diagnosing and managing people’s specific hearing needs.