Many things cause hearing loss such as:
- Ageing (the most common cause)
- Illness (such as mumps or meningitis)
- Your mother having rubella in pregnancy
- Side effects to medication
- Loud or repeated explosions
- Very loud machinery
- Very loud music
Hearing loss is measured in terms of intensity and is described as mild, moderate, severe or profound.
People with mild hearing loss have a certain amount of difficulty hearing speech in noisy situations.
With moderate hearing loss, difficulty is experienced following speech in ordinary situations without the use of a hearing aid and people have even more problems in noisy areas. Most people in this category find they can use a telephone if they are wearing a hearing aid by using the inductive coupler (which cuts out some background noise).
Severe hearing loss makes speech difficult to follow, even with a hearing aid. Using an adapted voice phone would be almost impossible, despite the availability of strong amplification. People are likely to rely on British Sign Language or lip-reading. Some people with profound hearing loss may have no use for hearing aids. They cannot use a voice telephone but are able to use a text phone (Minicom). If born deaf or become deaf in early childhood, they are likely to be dependent on British Sign Language, lip-reading or both.