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One effect of this which is worth knowing about is that, certainly in the initial and middle stages of noise induced hearing loss, someone can have a large-ish degree of loss but not be deaf. The problem of noise induced hearing loss can be that it often does not occur in isolation and is laid on top of other hearing losses, most commonly the natural degredations due to knocking on a bit when hearing naturally gets worse as we get older. This loss in itself is significant and if a younger person was to suddenly go from their normal hearing to the ability of a 65 year old the losses would sound profound. The basic principle of workplace audiometry is that we use the hearing tests to identify losses before they become a problem and avoid adding further reductions in hearing due to noise to the ageing process.
The audiometry chart below is one we are interested in, particularly in workplace audiometry.
Diagnose the exact source of the noise - all noise sources have pretty much the same effect on hearing, irrespective of pitch. Tell you when a noise loss ocurred, so if somone worked in Job A for 15 years then Job B for 15 years, you cannot tell from the result which job, if any, caused the damage. All audiometry at this level can do therefore is say that yes, there is a hearing loss, and it may be linked to noise exposure.
Sensorineural hearing loss – this happens when there is damage to the inner ear or to the pathway between your inner ear and your brain.
You may have a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss – this is known as mixed hearing loss. If you have a bacterial infection of your middle ear, it can sometimes be treated with antibiotics. If your outer or middle ears are blocked by ear wax or fluid caused by an ear infection, a nurse will often be able to remove the blockage with a syringe after it has been softened. If there is no cure for your hearing loss, for example if it’s caused by ageing, a hearing aid for one or both of your ears may help. If a hearing aid doesn’t help (eg in profound deafness), your doctor may suggest you have a cochlear implant.
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Otosclerosis – bone growth in the middle ear, which causes the ossicles of your middle ear to become fixed.
Perforated (pierced) eardrum, which can be caused by an untreated ear infection, a head injury or from poking something in your ear. The causes of conductive hearing loss can often be treated, so it’s usually only temporary.
Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) – a natural decline in your hearing as a result of damage that occurs to your cochlea as a part of the ageing process.
Regular exposure to loud noises, for example if you work in a noisy place or listen to a lot of loud music. Meniere's disease – a condition that affects your inner ear, causing dizziness and tinnitus, as well as leading to hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is usually permanent as once the hair cells in your cochlea are damaged, they can’t be repaired. Most people get a certain amount of hearing loss as they get older, but you can try to protect your hearing as much as possible by looking after your ears and reducing how much time you spend in noisy places.
As you get older, your hearing will probably get worse – this is known as presbyacusis. This type of damage to your hearing is difficult to prevent: more than half of people over 60 in the UK have some degree of hearing loss. Certain medicines, such as diuretics, and conditions, such as osteoporosis, may contribute to hearing loss – speak to your GP about how these may affect your hearing. Loud noises, especially when you’re around them for long periods of time, can damage your hearing. According to the World Health Organization, noise-induced hearing loss is the main cause of permanent hearing loss worldwide.
Your employer should provide ear protection, usually earplugs or earmuffs, for you to wear to help prevent damage to your hearing. Make sure you attend hearing tests provided by your employer, as they may pick up any problems with your hearing early on. My child is having trouble hearing - what could be causing it and is it likely to be permanent? It’s likely that your child has temporary hearing loss caused by an ear infection or illness.

If your child is having trouble hearing and has earache or discharge from his or her ear, he or she may have a middle-ear infection. Your child may have temporary hearing loss caused by fluid collecting behind his or her eardrum – this is known as glue ear.
Although your child’s hearing loss is probably temporary, in some children it can become permanent.
If you think your baby or child is having trouble hearing, visit your GP who will test your child’s hearing. A Swindon solicitor has urged manufacturing workers who have been exposed to noisy environments and have suffered a loss of hearing or ringing in the ears, to visit their GP and insist on a hearing test. Brigitte Chandler, a leading industrial disease lawyer with Swindon firm, Charles Lucas & Marshall, says deafness among retired workers in the town is increasing because of the excessive noise levels they have had to endure at work.
Brigitte Chandler has recently settled a case for John Garrett of The Lawns, Swindon who worked for British Rail between 1951-1971. He was provided with no ear protection – even though from 1955 British Rail knew that exposing their workforce to excessive noise, might result in deafness.
Mr Garret’s case was settled out of court with British Rail agreeing compensation to cover pain and suffering for deafness as well as costs towards hearing aids and other equipment. She specialises in asbestos claims in all industries including railway, shipping, dockyards, construction and manufacturing industries.
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Xino Tinnitus creates a customizable and comforting sound stimulus that you and your hearing professional can fine-tune to soothe the unique, irritating sounds you hear. Approximately one in six adults in the UK have some hearing loss and it is not clear whether listening to loud music plays a part. The number of UK adults who struggle to hear in social situations with background sounds has increased by 12 per cent over the last two decades and is likely to rise further, according to figures published in the International Journal of Audiology.According to the World Health Organisation, the single largest cause of preventable hearing loss is loud noise, such as from heavy industry in work places and loud music. Researchers from the Medical Research Council and the National Institute of Health Research are questioning whether almost a century of amplified music has something to do with the prevalence of hearing difficulties.To find out, a mass participation study has been designed for all age groups and asks people to share information about their listening habits as well as test their hearing of speech against background noise.
If a lifetime of noisy concerts and stereos turned up to the highest volume does lead to hearing loss, the scientists expect to see a correlation between the participantsa€™ reported previous listening habits and current hearing abilities.
Over the past 100 years, advances in electronic amplification have transformed the way people listen to music from horn gramophones in 1923 to hugely powerful speakers at concerts and discos to personal stereos and now MP3 players.Action on Hearing Loss has long campaigned on the dangers of loud music and the importance of protecting and preserving hearing. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. This is not helped that tiredness is also known to cause tinnitus and so a vicious cycle can begin. The simplest way to explain it is that they can hear a car drive past 200 yards away quite easily, but can't follow what someone is saying who is sat next to them if there is a lot of background noise, such as in a pub, etc. These show the lower limits of what would be acceptable hearing with increasing age - ideally hearing would be better than this.
It is often stated that a 4 or 6kHz drop, recovering at the high end - the 'V' shape in the charts above - is proof of noise loss.
Most of these people are over 60 and have lost their hearing gradually as part of the natural ageing process. You may start to notice you find it difficult to hear and understand people when you're in a noisy place.
Always ask your GP for advice and read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine. This is a device that turns sounds into electrical signals, which directly stimulate your auditory nerve allowing you to hear. This type of hearing loss is caused by damage to the tiny hair cells in your ear, which help sound to travel to your brain. See your GP if you have earache, deafness or any painful discharge so this can be treated properly. If you work in a noisy place, wear earplugs or earmuffs to protect your ears and try to keep the volume of any music you listen to as low as possible. If you work in a noisy place, such as a factory, building site or nightclub, your hearing can be damaged gradually.
Middle ear infections are very common, particularly in young children – three-quarters of middle ear infections occur in children under 10.

If your child has had meningitis and is now having hearing problems, visit your GP for advice.
Mr Garrett worked in numerous works shops where he was exposed to pneumatic hammers, drilling and grinding machines and general engineering noise. Please use newer version of your browser or visit Internet Explorer 6 countdown page for more information. The sound signals from the microphones are passed through a processor that determines what sounds should be amplified to the ear. The study asks how often you go to concerts and discos, as well as how often you used to listen to personal music players, such as Walkmans, Diskmans and MP3 players, over different periods of time.It also asks more specific questions, such as, 'How often nowadays does any hearing difficulty restrict what you do socially or personally?'The experiment is available here. Dr Michael Akeroyd, from the MRC Institute of Hearing Research, who is leading the project, said: a€?Many studies of music-related hearing loss have focused on musicians who may be exposed to loud music almost every day. However, recent studies have shown that 1 in 3 people with no history of noise exposure at all have exactly that same pattern of loss. Hearing loss can also be very sudden, for example if it’s caused by a viral infection of the inner ear. Your GP may do a hearing test, or he or she may refer you to either an otolaryngologist (a doctor who specialises in ear, nose and throat disorders), an audiologist (a specialist in hearing) or an audiovestibular physician (a doctor who specialises in hearing, balance and communication problems). Many different types of hearing aid are available, and your audiologist will advise you as to which type best suits your needs. You may find that you have difficulty hearing people speak in noisy places and on the telephone, and find trying to keep up with a group conversation difficult and tiring. You may find that you have a ringing in your ears or that your hearing is muffled after you leave work. If your child has lost his or her hearing and is complaining of earache, he or she may have this condition. Your child will have a hearing test soon after he or she is born (the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme), which should pick up any problems early on. This is in part related to the appearance of hearing aids, but more importantly related to the fact that traditional hearing aids amplify sounds coming from all directions and are incapable of distinguishing background noise from speech. This allows the glasses to dampen background noise while selectively strengthening sound coming from in front of the user. This vibration is passed on to your middle ear, which consists of three small bones called ossicles. Movement of these hair cells produces electrical signals that travel along the auditory nerve to your brain, where they are converted into meaningful information, such as language or music. Some people find that their hearing loss is associated with a continual ringing in their ears (tinnitus). These are both signs that your hearing has been affected by the loud noises around you, so if you have these symptoms, speak to your employer in the first instance. If you have an infection, you may have some other symptoms, such as earache and discharge from your ears.
If you, or your friends and family, think that your hearing is getting gradually worse, see your GP.
Your doctor will whisper a combination of numbers and letters from behind you and ask you to repeat the combination to check if you can hear anything.
For example, you may have started to notice that you have difficulty hearing what is being said when you are in a group. The audiometer produces sounds of different volumes and frequencies, and you will be asked to indicate when you hear the sounds in the headphones.
The level at which you can’t hear the sound of a certain frequency is known as your threshold. This test is used to measure your cochlear function by recording signals produced by the hair cells.
This test measures the activity of your cochlea, auditory nerve and brain when a sound is heard.
If one ear is hearing better than the other, your doctor may organise a scan – usually an MRI scan.
This is to rule out rare causes of hearing loss such as an acoustic neuroma or cholesteatoma.

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