Facebook icon
photo of Chantale Pirouet answering questions from one of Hearing Wellness Centre's patients.

Q & A

What causes hearing loss?
How can I detect early signs of hearing loss?
What symptoms require medical attention?
What causes ringing in my head/ears?
What types of hearing loss are there?
How can I restore my hearing?
I only have difficulty hearing in crowds.
I hear male and female voices differently.
My hearing is fine, but I have problems understanding.

 




What causes hearing loss?

There are several causes of hearing loss. Some of them include:

back to top

 

How can I detect early signs of hearing loss?

back to top

 

What symptoms require medical attention?

back to top

 

What causes ringing in my head/ears?

The ringing sensation that can be detected in your head, or individual ears, is called tinnitus. This ringing is usually an indication of some damage to your auditory system (especially noise damage). It can be constant or periodic and on one specific side or in the middle of your head. Sometimes hearing aids help by bringing more sound to the brain, thus distracting attention from the ringing. If you have ringing consistently on one side, you will want to ask your doctor about it.

back to top

 

What types of hearing loss are there?

There are three types of hearing loss:

back to top

 

How can I restore my hearing?

Usually, hearing loss is permanent. Consult with your doctor to see if your symptoms are medical in nature and need any treatment, especially if you have a sudden hearing loss. Even hearing instruments will not restore normal hearing. Hearing instruments will make previously missed sounds available at the level of stimulation your auditory system needs at that particular pitch.

back to top

 

I only have difficulty hearing in crowds.

You could have a high-frequency hearing loss. With this type of loss, you can hear well in one-on-one situations and even in small groups. However when you get around distracting speech/noise, you can hear the noise louder than the speech. Your normal low-frequency hearing picks up the low-pitched noise at a normal-hearing level, while you miss some of the high-frequency speech sounds, where your hearing loss is located, that bring in clarity. This hearing loss is not as noticeable when speaking with someone without any competing noise.

back to top

 

I hear male and female voices differently.

Female voices, children's voices and even a majority of speech understanding is found in the high frequencies. If you have a high-frequency hearing loss you probably have a hard time hearing high frequency things, such as your wife's voice. You may hear the low frequency sounds normally but miss the high frequency sounds.

back to top

 

My hearing is fine, but I have problems understanding.

Hearing and understanding are two different things. It is possible to hear something and not understand. This may be due to a high-frequency hearing loss. Most consonant sounds are high in pitch and bring clarity to speech. They help you discriminate between different words (i.e.. pick, tick, brick, lick, sick). If you have a high-frequency hearing loss, you miss the consonant clarity sounds while hearing the volume from the low pitches.

back to top


“When you lose your eyesight, you lose contact with things. When you lose your hearing, you lose contact with people.”
- Helen Keller