impact on life - healthcare publishing

Hearing and Ear Care

Importance of a healthy lifestyle

As we age, our hearing can suffer through normal use or excessive noise in the workplace or at home. Because it happens gradually, often we're not aware of how bad it might be. If you're experiencing any of these problems you may have suffered some hearing loss.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

  • Do you complain people are mumbling?
  • Do others tell you they have to repeat things before you hear them?
  • Is it difficult to hear close conversations in noisy places like restaurants or pubs?
  • Do you hear better with one person than a group?
  • Is your television or music higher than others think necessary?
  • Do you find conversations tiring because you need to concentrate?
  • Do you struggle to hear telephone conversations?

Suffering with just one of these issues can mean some loss of hearing. For more information visit the website Royal National Institute for the Deaf at

You can download their range of free, expert fact sheets covering a range of topics, including Hearing aids, Tinnitus, Ear Health, Equipment and Benefits.

Common hearing and ear problems

Hearing impairment has many causes but the most common are due to the effects of impaired circulation of the blood (vascular) or exposure to noise. The most common cause of all is simply getting older. Less common causes are infections, ototoxic drugs which are damaging to the auditory system and disorders resulting from an unhealthy lifestyle.

There is a significant link between hearing loss and diabetes, with diabetics being more than twice as likely to experience hearing loss as non-diabetics. It is believed this is caused by damage to the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear. If you have diabetes, you should have your hearing screened regularly.

There are approximately 11 million people in the UK suffer from some form of hearing loss but only about a third of those actually wear hearing aids. Nearly 42% of people over 50 years old have hearing loss, rising to 71% of people over the age of 70.

Your ears and your hearing

Our hearing mechanism, more properly called the auditory system, is an amazing structure and unbelievably complex. The auditory system has three main parts: the outer, middle and inner ears.

The outer ear collects sound and directs it to the middle ear via the eardrum. The middle ear converts sound into mechanical vibrations for transmission to the tiny but amazing structure of the inner ear. The inner ear converts the middle ear sound vibrations into incredibly complex nerve impulse patterns which travel, via the auditory nerve, to the hearing centres of the brain.

Ultimately, it is our brain which hears all the sounds of the world around us, including the most important and complicated of all..the human voice.

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