These are the types of hearing loss and the steps to take if you're experiencing problems with your hearing.
Hearing loss is often associated with old age but a 2016 Statistics Canada survey found that 78 percent of adults aged 60-79 have some form of hearing loss, and so do 40 percent of adults aged 40 to 59. Here, we’ve outlined the types of hearing loss and what you can do to address your potential hearing ailment.
TYPES OF HEARING LOSS
1. SENSORINEURAL hearing loss is the most common form of permanent hearing loss and is caused by damage to the inner ear or nerve pathways from the ear. It can be caused by age, noise, head trauma or a virus, among other things, and it can be treated with a hearing aid.
2. CONDUCTIVE hearing loss affects the outer or middle ear and can be caused by a hole in the eardrum, a trauma or an infection. It can be treated (depending on the cause) by medication, surgery or a hearing aid.
3. MIXED hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive. For example, a person could have age-related hearing loss in addition to a hole in an eardrum.
TAKE THESE STEPS TO ADDRESS YOUR POTENTIAL HEARING LOSS
1. Book an appointment with your family doctor, who may refer you to an audiologist, or book an appointment with an audiologist directly—you don’t need a referral.
2. Talk to your audiologist about what you can afford. Hearing aids are expensive, but you don’t need to buy a top-of-the-line model. Find the right one for you.
3. Seek financial aid. Some employee benefit programs will cover a portion of the expense, and depending on your province or territory, you may be eligible for more coverage.
4. Chat with someone at the Canadian Hearing Society if you need emotional support or assistance—they offer education and counselling services that may help you cope.