Hearing Loss Information

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Hearing loss in the fastest and third most common chronic health problem among elders. It affects 10 percent of all Canadians. The progression of the hearing loss is often slow, so you don’t notice that your hearing is going. It is most often loved ones that notice the first signs of hearing loss and the people experiencing hearing loss are one of the last to know.

Types of Hearing Loss

There are three types of hearing loss that you can experience:

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the root cause lies in the inner ear, a sensory organ or the nerve that transmits sound information from the inner ear to the brain. This type of hearing loss can be caused by many factors such as heredity, age, continuous exposure to excessive noise, diabetes, and many other causes.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem transferring sound waves from the outer ear to the middle ear. This type of hearing loss can be caused by excessive earwax, an infection, a perforated eardrum, and many other causes.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss occurs when there is both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss present. This can happen if there is damage to the outer ear as well as the inner ear. Having mixed hearing loss might make your hearing worse than if you just had one type of hearing loss.

Signs of Hearing Loss

The signs of hearing loss most often develop slowly over time and can be difficult to notice. It is important to notice the signs of hearing loss because hearing loss can be detected earlier and treatments can be prescribed.

If you answer YES to one or more of these questions you might have hearing loss?

  1. Do you find that people around you mumble or speak softly?
  2. Do you find conversations in restaurants or crowded places difficult?
  3. Do you often have to turn up the volume on your TV, radio or phone?
  4. Do friends and family members complain that they have to repeat what they say to you?
  5. Do you have to look at people’s faces in order to be able to understand what they are saying?
  6. Have you noticed that everyday sounds, like the tweeting of birds or footsteps, are gone?

If you notice you are experiencing some of the signs of hearing loss, it is recommended that you visit our clinic for a hearing test.


What Causes Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is often associated with aging, but it is not the only cause. One of the most common causes of hearing loss can be prevented. Noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented by avoiding continuous exposure to loud noises or by wearing custom ear protection. Some causes of hearing loss can be:

  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Noise-induced hearing loss
  • Heredity
  • Diabetes
  • Infections & Illness
  • Injury & Trauma
  • Medication

How your hearing works?

Wondering how your hearing works? There are three main parts of your ear that all play a role in how you hear sounds and one part of your ear is even responsible for your balance. Read our guide to get a better idea of how it works.


Tinnitus or ringing in the ears is often a sign of an underlying condition. The sound can be heard all of the time or only when it is it quiet, it may also come and go over time. Tinnitus tests can be done, though it should be understood that not all tinnitus can be eliminated or reduced.

How can an audiologist help?

An audiologists expertise includes the prevention, assessment and treatment of audiologic problems including hearing loss and tinnitus. Your audiologist will be able prescribe hearing aids and/or other assistive listening devices to minimize the consequences of hearing loss if it is needed based on the results of your tests.

We're Here To Help!

Okanagan Hearing Centre

4-1455 Harvey Ave
Kelowna, BC
V1Y 6E9