Hearing loss, or hearing impairment, happens when there is a problem with one or more parts of the ear or ears, the nerves coming from the ears, or the part of the brain that controls hearing. "Impairment" means something is not working correctly or as well as it should. Hearing, just like the other four senses, plays an important role in our wellbeing. When hearing fades slowly, it can have a major impact on your day-to-day life.
Hearing loss can occur in many forms at varying degrees of severity. Your level of hearing generally falls into one of four categories; mild, moderate, severe or profound. You may have different levels of hearing loss in each ear. See the below table to learn more about the different degrees of hearing:
While it’s important to get as much information as possible, a free hearing check is a quick way to determine if hearing loss is present. The free hearing check is available to everyone aged 18 years and over. We recommend that everyone over the age of 50 has an annual hearing check. It takes 20 minutes and it can be conducted at any one of our clinics.
It can be a challenge when someone close to you is experiencing hearing difficulties. It is not easy to find the right time to start a conversation about hearing loss. Reactions can be mixed, because hearing loss can be a gradual process, which people learn to accommodate and find it difficult to accept. Denial and reluctance to discuss their hearing is common. If you think a friend or family member might be experiencing hearing loss, you are doing the right thing by looking into it. Hearing problems left untreated can negatively impact people’s lives over time.