Impairment of hearing is referred to as hearing loss. Based on the degree of impairment, further gradations can be made. If the affected person is not able to hear individual tones or sounds at all, he or she suffers from complete hearing loss, which is also referred to as deafness or deafness.
For the majority of those affected, the diagnosis and its consequeces only occur with increasing age. This is referred to as gradual age-related hearing loss. However, this diagnosis can be strongly influenced by an increased noise level in younger years. It can also be caused by infectious diseases or injuries in the area of the ear canal and eardrum. Cardiovascular disease or diabetes also promote hearing impairment.
Hearing disorders can be divided into three categories:
– Conductive hearing loss
– sensorineural or sensorineural hearing loss
– Sound perception hearing loss
If a combination of two or even all categories occurs, it is also called a mixed hearing loss.
Regular hearing tests serve to keep an eye on one’s own hearing ability and to detect changes at an early stage. The different degrees of hearing loss can be determined by hearing distance testing, speech audiometry, tone threshold audiograms and electrocochleographs. In addition, there are otoacoustic emissions, brainstem audiometry or cerebral cortex audiometry that can help in the determination.