SHC Audiology works in partnership with the NHS, providing extra support and capacity in the delivery of high quality Audiology services which are easily accessible to the local community.
How Do We Hear?
To understand hearing and hearing loss, we must first begin with how we hear. Sound waves are collected by the outer ear and directed along the ear canal to the eardrum, the impact creates vibrations which, in turn, cause the three bones of the middle ear to move. The smallest of these bones, the stapes, fits into the oval window between the middle and inner ear. When the oval window vibrates, fluid in the inner ear transmits the vibrations into the delicate, snail shaped structure called the cochlea.
In the inner ear, thousands of microscopic hair cells are moved by the wave-like action of the fluid inside the cochlea. The movement of these hairs are then transformed into nerve impulses which are then passed through auditory nerves to the hearing centre of the brain. This centre translates the impulses into sounds the brain can recognise. Audiology is the study of hearing and balance disorders
The impact of hearing loss in adults can be great both at a personal and a societal level leading to social isolation, depression, loss of independence and employment challenges.
Hardness of hearing and deafness affects the lives of large numbers of people and can limit activities both professionally and socially.
One in six people in the UK have some form of hearing loss. Most are older people who are gradually losing their hearing as part of the ageing process, with more than 70% of over 70 year-olds and 40% of over 50 year-olds having some form of hearing loss. Hearing loss usually occurs gradually over time, it is often very advanced before people identify and finally accept that they have a problem.
How do I know if I have a hearing loss?
- Others tend to "mumble"
- The TV has to be set higher than others would like it
- Difficulty hearing in noisy places
- People have to repeat themselves
- Problems understanding people who do not look directly at me when speaking
- Trouble hearing the doorbell or phone
- Hearing aids can significantly enhance the quality of life
- Hearing instruments are designed to make speech louder and clearer at a comfortable level
- Hearing instruments can help enhance speech in background noise
- Hearing instruments can dramatically improves one’s awareness of surrounding sounds and voices
- Those who opt for hearing instruments experience better relationships with family and friends, higher self-esteem, improved mental health, and greater independence and security
How can I benefit from Hearing Instruments?
By clicking on the sound files, people with normal hearing can get an impression of how music sounds for a hearing-impaired person. The first sound is at 'normal level' and the following sounds have been reduced in relation to the 'normal level'.
|Conductive hearing loss (10dB)|
|Conductive hearing loss (20dB)|
|Conductive hearing loss (30dB)|
|Conductive hearing loss (30dB)|
|Sensorineural hearing loss (mild)|
|Sensorineural hearing loss (moderate)|
|Sensorineural hearing loss (severe)|
Tinnitus is noises like ringing, whistling or buzzing in the head. The noise can be heard anywhere in the head or in one or both ears. Nobody else but you can hear the noise because it does not come from any external source. Although you are the only person who can hear the noise it is not a result of your imagination. Tinnitus is common in people over the age of 40, but is becoming increasingly prevalent in younger people, as well, because of increased daily noise levels, including those caused by the unrestrained use of MP3s, iPods and other personal stereos.
Although tinnitus is more common among people who suffer from hearing loss, anyone can suffer from tinnitus. It is also possible to suffer from major hearing loss without contracting tinnitus at all.
What does tinnitus and hearing loss sounds like? Here are a number of sound files which you can play to get an impression of what it is like to suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus.
Try our free online hearing test. With our online hearing test, you can determine whether you could possibly have problems with your hearing.
These sound files have been provided by the Danish Information Centre for Hearing Impairment and Deafness, Delta Akustik and Vibration.