It’s estimated that around one-in-seven will have some kind of hearing loss during their lifetime. So what is hearing loss and how can it be corrected? The sensitivity of our hearing is indicated by the quietest sound that we can detect, called the hearing threshold. Your threshold can be accurately measured by a hearing aid audiologist, who will note on a graph the quietest sounds, at different frequencies, that you can hear. Normal hearing thresholds are not the same for all frequencies. If different frequencies of sound are played at the same volume (amplitude), some will be perceived as loud, and others quiet or even completely inaudible. Generally, if the volume or amplitude is increased, a sound is more likely to be heard.
Although accident, disease or exposure to toxic substances or excessive noise can all cause hearing loss, by far the most common factor is the passage of time. As with our eyesight, our hearing becomes less effective as we grow older and the older we are the greater the likelihood of us not being able to hear properly. This so called “age induced” hearing loss cannot be reversed and untreated can lead to other problems including ill health.