YOUR HEARING


At Shire Hearing Centres one of our primary goals is to educate our customer on better hearing. To start you may wish to fill out the following questionnaire, it will help give us an understanding of what your current hearing challenges are:

TAKE OUR HEARING QUESTIONNAIRE

Below you will find a collection of resources to give you more information about improving your hearing.

Click any of the links below to learn more:


  • HOW DOES HEARING WORK?
HOW DOES HEARING WORK?

The ear, despite its small size, is a highly complex organ. Acting as sound filter, the ear transforms every sound audible to us into accurate information the brain can prioritise.

The Anatomy & Function of the Ear

diagram of ear showing the different parts.Outer Ear
The shape of the outer ear allows for soundwaves to be directed from the auditory canal to the eardrum

Middle Ear
This section of the ear contains the ear drum and 3 tiny bones which amplify the soundwaves, these bones are called:

  1. Hammer (Malleus)
  2. Anvil (Incus)
  3. Stirrup (Stapes)

The eardrum first passes the soundwaves through to the 3 tiny bones which convert it into vibrations.

Inner Ear
The vibrations then enter the cochlea which is filled with fluid, and tiny sensory cells. The sensory cells pick up the sound vibrations and transmit them via nerve fibres to the area of the brain in charge of processing and interpreting what we hear.  This sound can be described as loud or soft, high-pitched or low-pitched.

If the ear is exposed to strong vibrations over time, the sensory cells and fibres can become damaged, if these are unable to heal or be replaced, this can lead to permanent hearing loss.


  • WHY DO WE NEED TO HEAR?
WHY DO WE NEED TO HEAR?

Hearing empowers us and enriches our lives. Hearing enables us to socialise, work, interact, communicate and even relax. Good hearing also helps to keep us safe, warning us of potential danger or alerting us to someone else’s distress (Oticon 2012).

We need to hear to perform everyday tasks…

At work:-

  • Communicating in work meetings
  • Talking on the telephone
  • Listening to other work colleagues

At social occasions:-

  • Talking to your friends
  • Participating in dinner conversation at a restaurant
  • Interacting with your children and grand children
  • Talking on the telephone
  • Watching the television with your family or friends

Hearing is also necessary for our own safety:-

  • When walking across roads
  • To be able to hear sounds that alert us to danger like sirens and other traffic signals
  • So we can be alert to a cry or communicate to others for help

… and is important when we learn as it allows us to

  • To maintain a concentration
  • So we are able to communicate with instructors
  • So we are able to register information accurately

  • WHAT CAUSES HEARING LOSS?
WHAT CAUSES HEARING LOSS?

Society views hearing loss as being associated with getting older… But don’t be fooled as this is not always the case….

Mechanisms of hearing loss:

  • Injury to the ear
  • Infections
  • Birth detects
  • Excessive Noise exposure
  • The natural aging process
  • Wax build-up or fluid in the ear

Types of Hearing loss:

1. Aged-Related

As a person ages our organs do not work as effectively as they once did….This is the same with the organ of the ear.

As we get older we lose our ability to hear softer and high pitched sounds.

2. Noise-induced Hearing Loss

This is often caused by over-exposure to excessive noise.

It is often seen in occupations such as:

  • Military personal
  • Police officers
  • Construction workers
  • Factory workers
  • Famers
  • Dentists
  • Kindergarten teachers

On another note you should be mindful that activities such as going to concerts, or listening to your MP3 player can also lead to noise-induced hearing loss.

3. Conductive Hearing Loss

In this type sound is prevented from reaching the inner ear, due to problems within the outer or middle ear. These can include:

  • A build-up of wax in the ear canal
  • Perforated ear drums
  • Fluid in the middle ear
  • Damage  to the middle ear bones (ossicles)

4. Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This occurs in the inner ear, and is when the sensory cells or nerve fibres get damaged-and as a result sound is not transmitted properly.

The main causes are:

  • The aging process
  • Excessive exposure to noise

This condition in most cases is permanent.


  • THE IMPACT OF HEARING LOSS
THE IMPACT OF HEARING LOSS

Hearing is one of the ways we communicate with others and can pronounced impact on your lives and the people around us.

Hearing loss can be associated with feelings of embarrassment, worry, sadness and lioness. You may also start to feel drowsy, irritable and have trouble concentrating. If left untreated it can lead to feelings of isolation, damage close relationships and even lead to depression.

ACT NOW!

Research by one of our leading manufactures Oticon, show that treating hearing loss can lead to a positive impact on the physical and emotionally health of an individual and their family.


  • DON’T BE THE LAST TO KNOW ABOUT HEARING LOSS
DON’T BE THE LAST TO KNOW ABOUT HEARING LOSS

Hearing loss can creep up on you… So the person affected can be the last person to know.

Do these statements sound familiar?

“My family members complain that i need to turn the television volume louder than they do”

Or

“I have to ask people to repeat themselves even when I am in a quiet conversation with one or two people” 

It is a fact that family, friends and co-workers are often the first ones to spot out problems, such as these, before you do.

The real problem is often not the condition itself-it’s that we do not recognise it and treat it early on. To avoid this fate you need to be able to identify the SIGNS of hearing loss early on.

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE


  • DOING WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU AND YOUR HEARING
DOING WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU AND YOUR HEARING

A hearing loss is like any other important health-related issues or concern; it should be taken seriously and not neglected. This involves going to a professional to obtain a diagnosis, and treatment with the best solutions available to you.

Treating hearing loss has proven to have a positive impact on quality of live. In addition to helping you HEAR better, hearing instruments make you FEEL better. You should expect:

  • An enormous confidence boost
  • An increase in your over-all well-being
  • A surge in your energy levels
  • Greater confidence levels
  • And your life will take a turn for the better!

Finding the right solutions involves gaining an overview of what instruments there are, and finding the right one for you to meet your specific hearing loss needs.

At Shire Hearing Centres our clinicians can supply you with an overview of different types of instruments and help you find the one that’s right for you, and your specific hearing needs.


  • WHAT CAN A HEARING TEST TELL ME?
WHAT CAN A HEARING TEST TELL ME?

The test will take place in a sound-proof booth, where you will put on a headset, sit comfortably and listen. A trained audiologist will then play a series of pure whistling tones-from bass through to treble. The audiologist will instruct you to press the buzzer when you hear them. The results of this test will be recorded on an audiogram ( a line of x’s amd o’s). From these markers the audiologist will be able to tell you:

  • How much you can hear in each ear.
  • How well you hear loudness and pitch of different sounds.
  • What impact this has on your ability to communicate.

Diagram of the levels of hearing loss


You can also view the video below to learn more about how hearing works



At Shire Hearing Centres we pride ourselves on our friendly and professional service. We are a family owned, independent business and have lived in the Shire for almost 50 years. We are committed to making sure that you get a great service so we choose the best from all the major hearing aid companies. With a great selection of products for you to choose from we are sure we can offer you the right solution for your hearing needs.

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