Hearing loss affects 360,000 people here – that’s 1 in 11 Singaporeans. It can affect anyone of any age.
Do you have hearing loss?
Hearing loss is the reduced ability to hear sound. It may affect one or both ears. It can occur suddenly or gradually.
Sudden hearing loss is immediately noticeable and requires urgent medical treatment.
Gradual hearing loss happens slowly over time, and it can be harder to notice the reduction in hearing. It may become apparent when you have difficulty hearing people in noisy environments or family members comment on audio being played too loudly for comfort. It may feel like a blockage or a ringing in the ears.
Long-term hearing loss is a condition that requires early treatment. It can indicate damage in the structure of the ear(s).
If left unaddressed in children, it can lead to speech and language delay. In adults, hearing loss is associated with depression and dementia.
Congenital causes include:
Acquired causes include:
There is growing evidence that listening to music delivered via earphones at a high volume for prolonged periods can permanently damage your hearing. Singaporeans may lose their hearing early – as young as in their mid-40s – as a result.
How does hearing loss affect quality of life?
Life is all about communication, and people with hearing loss generally have difficulty communicating. Often people can hear their loved ones talking, but can’t understand what they are saying. This leads to loneliness and social isolation. As personal relationships decline, they can experience depression and anxiety.
Research also reveals that people with hearing loss have increased risk of cardiovascular deaths. This can arise from the increased stress, which worsen heart conditions.
Get your ears checked if you experience the following:
Persistent ear pain
Weakness of the face, ie. facial palsy
Our ENT specialist will discuss your hearing history. Then he or she will conduct a hearing test. In a sound-proof booth, as you listen to varying pitches, volumes and words, he or she will check the air pressure in your ears to assess your eardrum and middle ear function.
Some patients may require balance tests. Our ENT specialist will identify the cause of unsteadiness or dizziness in the vestibular system in your inner ear, and advise how the condition can be treated.
This depends on the cause of hearing loss. More profound cases may require hearing aids or cochlear implants, or surgery.