Most questions on hearing

What are the first signs of a hearing loss?

In presbyacusia, the hearing loss is insidious and is often done without the affected person being aware of it.

A bad understanding of spoken words in a noisy place

One of the first signs is oftena bad understanding of words in a noisy place, such as in a restaurant or a family meeting.

Making the interlocutor repeat

  • We have then a tendency to make our interlocutor repeat and to answer somehow "randomly" because we did not understand the question clearly.
  • Sounds appear to us deafened as if we were wearing ear muffsor they are difficult to understand to such an extent that one thinks that the interlocutor mispronounces, mumbles or mutters.

Increasing the sound of television

We adjust abnormally high the volume of television according to our entourage.

Speaking louder

We often speak a little bit louder in circumstances where discretion is essential: in a church, a hospital, etc

Can we delay the ageing process of the ear?

  • Ageing is unavoidable and irremediable , but by avoiding exposing oneself to high noise levels, by making a reasonable use of drugs, one can preserve a good ear for a longer time.
  • There are effective and discrete solutions to compensate for the majority of hearing decrease due to the ageing of the system.
  • Auditory aids sometimes offer spectacular results; that is why we should not fear testing them.

Can tinnituses cause hearing loss?

Frequently it is the opposite that happens , it follows a traumatism or a hearing loss that people are affected by tinnituses.
  • The tinnituses, which are noises perceived in the ear or head in the form of ringing in the ears or of ringings, represent a complex issue to be treated.
  • When someone suffers from tinnituses, it is important to quickly consult a doctor or an ENT specialist. Tinnituses may or not be accompanied by a hearing loss.

Which precautions can one take to prevent hearing loss?

In our society, noise is constantly present .
Thus, the ear is regularly attacked by all kinds of sounds : motor vehicle traffic, road works, airplanes,....
  • These sounds are annoying but are not a direct cause of deafness. It is especially necessary to pay attention to very loud noises: industrial noise, shooting, music, .....
  • For professional life noises, noise pollution regulation was implemented.

Dangers for young people

But there is also a danger for young people: amplified music.
This is why, for some time, many prevention campaigns were implemented to try to eradicate this phenomenon.

When we have ringing or ringing in the ears must we speak about it with our doctor? What are the causes of these symptoms?

These symptoms, which in some cases can become unbearable, are called tinnituses .
Unfortunately, we still know very little about this phenomenon and we do not know how to cure it .

Techniques used to relieve tinnituses

Several techniques are used to relieve or decrease tinnituses, but there is no miracle cure !
  • If you are in this case, consult your doctor or an ENT specialist.

Which types of hearing aids can we find today? Are they all efficient?

We find several kinds of auditory aids

Contours of the ear

  • Contours of the ear are placed behind the ear auricle and are connected to an end using a tube of a few centimeters.
  • They are appropriate to deaf people with light deafness as well as with severe deafness. Being more and more miniaturised, they profit today from the contributions of digital technology.
  • Auditory glasses are contours fitted on the arms of glasses
  • They can transmit sounds by an ear-phone or a vibrator linked against the osseous part behind the auricle.


  • Very discrete, intra-auricular are placed inside the auditory canal;
  • They correct low and average deafness, but not all deaf people can use this type of auditory aid.

How much does an auditory aid cost?

  • The price of an auditory aid can vary, according to its quality and its performances.

People below 20

  • Since 2000, the equipment of young people is entirely refunded for both ears.
  • Note that the taking in charge of stereophonic equipment is granted for only one child.

People above 20

  • Refunding is carried out for an ear only on the basis of 65% of a fixed lump sum whatever the price of the apparatus.
  • Department of Environment, or the Committee of Information and Documentation on Noise (CIDB).

How to make an apartment less permeable to noise?

  • There are materials to ensure the sound-proofing of houses .
  • The operation can be expensive, even prohibitory in case of old premises.
  • To set up a really effective sound-proofing, it is better to have the work done by specialised companies.
  • Which companies or organisations should one contact if one wants to carry out these works? Are they tax deductible?

How to take into account a hearing loss caused by one's professional environment? Which steps does one need to undertake? How is a person compensated?

Deafness can be recognised as a occupational illness by the National Health System.
The duration of the exposure must be at least 1 year and the waiting time to be treated is 1 year (time between the end of noise exposure and the first medical observation).


  • A brutal deafness can be declared in industrial accident, by the employer
  • It is up to the employee to declare an occupational illness.
  • The employee addresses his declaration to the appropriate body to which he is affiliated, with a medical certificate of his company doctor or any other doctor accompanied by a proof of wages .

Most questions about hearing loss

  • Is it normal that at a certain age, we hear less?
  • Is hearing loss progressive? Can it be hereditary?
  • Can hearing decrease result in a real deafness?
  • Can we become deaf suddenly?
  • When we notice that we have hearing difficulties, what can we do to correct this hearing loss and when shouod we consult a doctor?
  • How does one evaluate a hearing loss?
  • When we start having difficulties to follow a conversation in a noisy place, is this the sign of a hearing loss?
  • Do we speak louder when we start hearing with difficulty?
  • Do both ears age in the same way?
  • Can hearing loss modify a person's behaviour?

All about the ear

  • What is the difference between the outer ear and the inner ear?
  • What is the inner ear and what are its components?
  • What is the tympanum, which role does it really play in hearing?
  • Is it true that the center of balance is in the inner ear?
  • What is cochlea?
  • Can an earwax plug cause hearing loss?
  • Can frequent otitises during childhood cause later hearing disorders?
  • Can water or shampoo in the ear damage ears?
  • Should ears be protected when swimming under water?
  • Do ears get blocked at high altitude?
  • How to maintain and preserve one's ears?
  • Can a tympanum be transplanted?
  • Can ears be donated and where to go. Is there any demand in France?

All questions about auditory aids

  • What difference is there between analog prosthesis and digital hearing aid? .
  • Do auditory aids use batteries and if so, how long do they last?
  • According to which criteria do we choose auditory aids?
  • Are digital auditory aids more powerful than analog ones?
  • Some aids are very miniaturised; does one hear better with them?
  • If I wear only one auditory aid, how can I hear with the other ear?
  • Do auditory aids reproduce the environment noise as well as the voice of one's interlocutor?
  • Is it the ENT specialist who prescribes the aid? If so, does he indicate on the prescription the level of correction needed as is the case with eyesight?
  • Is it necessary to adjust the aid manually or is it adjusted automatically?
  • Do we need time to get accustomed to an auditory aid and how long is the adaptation period?
  • Are the aids quiet? Do we hear a humming or unwanted noises when they are worn?
  • Do we have to visit regularly the audioprothesist to control the auditory aid?
  • Once worn, do we hear as well as we used to?
  • Can auditory aids cause allergies or irritate the ears?
  • How to maintain my hearing aid and which precautions to take?
  • Can perspiration be the source of an abnormal operation of the auditory aid?
  • If I am not satisfied by the auditory aids that I have just bought, can I change them?
  • Is there a trial period when we buy auditory aids?
  • What is the lifetime of a hearing aid?
  • Can we bathe with auditory aids?

Most questions about screening

  • What is the real use of a hearing screening test and who can profit from it?
  • Where can we carry out an auditory test? Does it require a medical prescription?
  • Are there screening tests in school?
  • How is deafness detected in babies?
  • In a very noisy professional environment, are screening tests carried out regularly? What is their frequency?
  • Would properly carried out preventitive measures be effectively less expensive to society than the dealing with the damages caused to hearing?
  • Why is there no auditory screening at the required annual occupational medical visit as is the case for one's eyesight?
  • What is exactly an auditory examination; is it painful and who carries it out?
  • What is an audioprothetic assessment?
  • What is an audiogram?
  • To carry out an auditory screening test, do we have to visit to a general doctor or can we consult an ENT specialist directly?
  • From what age can we have an auditive screening test?
  • From what age do we have to examine our ears regularly?
  • How to recognise the signs of bad hearing in children? And how does one know it if the latter do not speak yet?

All questions about noise

  • How is noise measured? What is a decibel?
  • Can noise have effects on health?
  • Can too much noise affect the hearing; can it lead to deafness?
  • Is there any legislation to limit the noise in the noisy places?
  • Does a person working in a noisy environment have access to any compensations (more frequent pauses, additional days of rest...) ?
  • Following a concert, a close friend nearly lost the hearing. Is the public informed of the risks caused by amplified music?
  • Which means are there to protect the ears from noise?
  • Are ears plugs really effective against the noise?
  • Which means do musicians have to protect themselves during concerts?
  • Do walkmans represent a real risk for the ears and the hearing?
  • Are there any preventive and information campaigns on the dangers of amplified music, at schools and more generally for the young public?
  • When the noise becomes too annoying or even hard to bear, whom does one complain to?
  • In case we fall victim to serious hearing damage caused by an extremely violent noise, whom does one contact for compensation?
  • Are there any recognised occupations with hearing risks? What are they?
  • Are there bodies to help to the professional reintegration of people victim of an auditory handicap?

All questions about tinnituses

  • Are there any solutions to get rid of tinnituses?
  • Can tinnitus be hereditary?
  • How to get informed about tinnituses?
  • What do we call white noise generator?
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