Hearing loss is defined as the impaired ability to make out distinct sounds. Millions of Canadians suffer from hearing impairment with the older population being the most affected. Hearing impairment, if left unattended, can lead to social as well as cognitive disorders such as depression and isolation. Hearing impairment is a chronic condition that can have an impact on the life of the affected individual. Many young people who have hearing impairment are born with some degree of the condition and it progresses as they get older.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Deafness is a big problem in Canada. At least one in every ten Canadians has a hearing impairment. If speech is your primary method of communication, developing mild to profound hearing loss can affect your ability to communicate, and at this point, you should consult an audiologist for help. However, you can have a hearing impairment or deafness but still be able to speak clearly. Some of the major causes of the condition include:
- Old age. Deafness due to old age is the most common in Canada.
- Physical trauma. People who had an abusive childhood and brain injuries have a higher risk of developing the condition.
- Some medications. Certain medications can cause permanent hearing damage. An example of this type of medication is some controlled antibiotics.
- Illnesses. Certain illnesses are known to cause hearing impairment. Some of these diseases include alcohol syndrome, meningitis, AIDS, autoimmune disorders, and mumps.
- Noisy environment. Long-term exposure to loud, consistent noises can also cause irreversible hearing impairment. Working in a loud plant or listening to music with volumes beyond recommended levels — on devices such as cell phones and iPods — is known to damage your hearing ability.
- Genetics. In some cases, children can inherit hearing complications from their parents. Infants born with hearing complications constitute a large part of the population suffering from this condition.
Hearing Loss Treatment
If you suspect that you’re losing your hearing ability, get a hearing assessment from a certified audiologist. Typically, treatment is administered in a hearing clinic. Hearing clinics offer patient consulting services at a small fee. The most common, perhaps the only type of treatment, depending on the individual situation, for hearing impairment is hearing aids. Hearing aids are electronic devices that amplify the volume of sound. These devices can be customized to increase effectiveness in different situations such as talking on the phone or when you are in a noisy environment. The type of hearing aid recommended will depend on the type of hearing impairment a person is suffering from.