Information on hearing loss and ear health conditions is listed below.
The information below is provided by The Hearing Care Partnership at Observatory and Wardale Williams.
Hearing loss will affect one in six of us by the time we reach our 60s, with over nine million people living with hearing loss in the UK today. Losing your hearing can be part of the natural ageing process (known as age-related hearing loss), and with modern advances in hearing tests and technology the condition is very manageable. We’re here to help minimise the impact of hearing loss on your everyday life. Sometimes, hearing loss is caused by more than just reaching our golden years. There are a range of conditions, situations and sometimes just bad luck which can impair your hearing. These are some of the most common causes of hearing loss.
Your lifestyle choices can affect your long-term hearing, whether this is your love of listening to your headphones a little too loud, or your career in high-volume environments, this can all take its toll over time and gradually impair the health of your ears, damaging the hair cells that capture and transmit sound.
Deafness can also be hereditary, which means you may be more prone to hearing loss than normal. If you have immediate family with hearing loss, be sure to get regular hearing assessments to spot any symptoms early.
Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common causes of hearing loss is the world. If you spend time in noisy environments either at work, or in your leisure time, you may develop a hearing loss. This doesn’t have to be very excessively loud noise such as in factories, engine rooms, or working with heavy machinery or power tools, noise induced hearing loss is a regular concern for other workers such as hairdressers, dental nurses or bar staff . Some jobs and hobbies require you to hear well, so conserving your hearing is important, and our specialist audiologists can offer advice and information on reducing the risk of noise induced hearing loss. Always try to avoid prolonged exposure to loud noises by keeping any music or television at a reasonable level, and wearing ear protection in environments you know will be hard on your ears.
Tinnitus affects 10% of people in the UK. Tinnitus is the name for any sound we can hear that has no external source and can be quiet or loud , high or low sounds, and can range from ringing, hissing, buzzing, tingling, to snippets of musical sounds. Tinnitus doesn’t always affect hearing, but it is often indicative of hearing loss. Your audiologist will be able to offer a thorough tinnitus assessment and give you the best advice and information.
Ménière’s disease is a condition of the inner ear that can lead to sudden dizzy spells (vertigo) and hearing loss. In most cases, Ménière’s disease affects only one ear but can spread to both ears over time. It can occur at any age, but it most commonly affects people aged between 20 and 60. It’s considered a chronic condition, but various treatments can help relieve symptoms and minimize the long-term impact on your life.
Build-up of ear wax in your ear canal can block sound waves, resulting in sudden loss of hearing. It’s important that you don’t try and unblock your ears yourself with cotton buds – this will push the wax further into your ear, and make the condition worse. There is always a risk that you could perforate your eardrum by using cotton buds or other objects to “remove” earwax yourself. Luckily, our audiologist offers a variety of ear wax removal methods depending on the severity of your ear wax build up, so you can get back to normal in no time.
Most importantly, if you have any concerns over your hearing or ear health, contact your audiologist at your local practice, or book a free hearing assessment online.