Causes and consequences hearing loss

What are the causes and consequences of hearing loss ?

Types of hearing loss and their consequences

Neurosensorial hearing loss: 90% of cases

Causes: Damage to the hair cells in the cochlea or to the auditory nerve, often due to aging or regular exposure to very loud sounds.

Neurosensorial hearing loss is irreversible but can often be helped with hearing aids.

Conductive hearing loss: 10% of cases

Causes: A foreign object, such as ear wax, blocking the ear canal, a perforated eardrum, malfunction of the ossicles, ear infection or fluid in the middle ear.

This type of hearing loss can often be resolved by medical intervention.

The consequences of hearing loss

Hearing loss has many effects, from emotional to physical:

  • Isolation
  • Embarrassment
  • Frustration
  • Lower self-esteem
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Decreased interest in work and less enjoyment of activities
  • And more

Conversations with loved ones become challenging, work less interesting and activities less fun.

On the practical side, not hearing the stove timer, telephone, smoke alarm or traffic noise can affect our safety and sense of independence.

Reduced speech comprehension

Another impact of untreated hearing loss is the risk of sensory deprivation, which is when the lack of auditory stimulation leads to a reduced understanding of speech. Hearing loss is often irreversible, so delaying treatment makes it impossible to recover our full capacity for speech comprehension.

If you think you might have hearing loss, don’t wait!

Visit the “Health tips” section to learn about other types of hearing health issues that might be of interest.