Other Hearing & Speech problems

Why are Some People Born Deaf?

Sadly, there are still quite a number of  incidences of babies born deaf or with hearing problems.

A baby can be born deaf for non-genetic and genetic reasons.

Some non-genetic causes are as follows:



When the baby gets caught in difficulties during birth, when the brain loses oxygen it could lead to a condition called Anoxia which causes loss of hearing.


Viral Infections

Herpes, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, Toxoplasmosis, and Syphilis are some of the infections that can cause hearing loss in babies if their mothers had them during birth.



High levels of bilirubin in the bloodstream caused by a liver that does not function properly, can lead to sensorineural hearing loss if not treated.


Preterm labor

Babies who have low birth weight or born before the pregnancy reaches full term are susceptible to birth injuries that lead to loss of hearing.

Newborns who weigh less than 1500 grams (3 pounds, 5 ounces) at birth have an increased risk of hearing loss


Genetic factors associated with hearing loss on the other side, have this for an explanation:


Autosomal Dominant

This rare condition accounts for 15% of babies with hearing loss. This happens when one parent carries an abnormal gene. Even if the gene from the other parent is normal, the abnormal gene will still cause hearing loss.


Autosomal Recessive

This happens when both parents are carrying the recessive gene and pass it on the baby. Parents are usually not aware that they carry these genes so when the mother gives birth to a deaf baby, everyone will be surprised. 70% of incidences of hearing loss among babies are attributed to this inherited trait.



This is the rarest genetic cause of hearing loss. X-Linked  inheritance happens when an abnormal gene is lying on the X chromosome. Girls have two X chromosomes while boys only have 1 but even so, there are more cases of this among boys than that with girls.


While genetic causes are completely unavoidable, much can be done to avoid child hearing loss by making sure all the non genetic factors will stay as far away from both the mother and the baby since these situations are mostly within human control.


Keeping fit and religiously following doctor’s advice can minimise the incidence of child hearing loss. Being on a constant watch with what is happening to both the mother and the baby is a proactive move that can ensure accidents and birth difficulties have lesser  chances of happening.



If you think you need a hearing aid, make sure to get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription


Music Habits Can Affect Hearing

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that acquired hearing loss may be due to excessive noise, including occupational noise such as that from machinery and explosions and recreational exposure to loud sounds such as that from use of personal audio devices at high volumes and for prolonged periods of time and regular attendance at concerts, nightclubs, bars and sporting events . In 2015, WHO warned that 1.1 billion young people (or about 50%) were at risk of hearing loss due to personal listening devices and music venues in which sounds may reach dangerously loud levels for hours on end . Initial studies among children show that the use of portable music player was associated with high-frequency hearing loss.


What affects hearing have something to do with the inner ear. In it is a complicated structure called cochlea which converts sound into electrical signals that are picked up by neurotransmitters mainly to the brain which also converts this into images or information. There are also fine hairs called cilia that are sensitive to different sounds and it is incredibly sensitive to the amplitude of sound waves. Noise can damage hair cells, membranes, nerves, or other parts of the inner ear, all of which may cause temporary or permanent hearing loss but loss of even about 30% of the cilia may produce damage resulting to inner ear baldness that cannot be repaired .


In physics, sound is nothing but a vibration that travels as waves through a medium (air, for example), measurable in terms of amplitude, wavelength, and frequency. This frequency is also called pitch. The amplitude measures the intensity of the sound. Sounds with high amplitude is loud. Other qualities of sound are volume and tone. Very loud noise and frequent exposure to it is responsible for noise-induced hearing loss. Whatever the sound heard, however, is nothing but a perception of it by the one listening to it. What is noise to one, may be music to another. Then there is noise music.


Damage to the cochlea may only be one problem associated with people’s music habits. Since noise and music are differentiated at the perception level of the brain, how people may appreciate and tolerate noise and music may also be affected. Musical Ear Syndrome (MES), a term first coined in 2004 by Neil G. Bauman, Ph.D. refers to a condition in which those with hearing loss experience musical auditory hallucinations .


Hence, it is vital to protect your hearing. For those with hearing loss, it may need a hearing aid to cope with it. Make sure to get a hearing aid prescription before purchasing a hearing aid. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription


Does Hearing Deteriorate with Age?

1 in 2 adults over age 65 experience hearing loss in different levels. This age related condition is referred to as presbycusis or hearing loss due to aging.


Just like other age related conditions, it can also be caused by other health factors such as diabetes, poor blood circulation, use of certain medications and a family history of hearing loss


As for avoidable causes, this can seriously result from smoking and the most common culprit – exposure to loud noises.


The main symptom of presbycusis or age related hearing loss is difficulty hearing voices of females or children because of an inability to hear high pitched sounds. It will also be difficult to hear others speak clearly and it will be hard to hear background noises.


This occurs because the tiny hair-like sensory hearing cells in your cochlea (inner ear), known as stereocilia of hair cells are the first to get damaged and they don’t regenerate.


These hair cells  are responsible for translating the sounds the ears collect into electrical impulses that the brain will be able to read or interpret so the absence of these cells results to an inability of the brain to relate to the sound and it translates to us as difficulty in understanding what we hear or not hearing it at all because the brain couldn’t send a signal.


According to health journals, the hearing impaired person will then experience certain sounds seeming overly loud but at the same time have difficulty hearing in areas that are noisy. There is difficulty hearing the difference between “s” and “th” sounds and sometimes this is accompanied by Tinnitus or ringing in the ears.


The person will find himself having to always turn up the volume of the television or radio a little louder than normal because he can’t hear clearly.


He will always ask people to repeat themselves because he is unable to understand conversations especially over the telephone.


Even if age related hearing loss is unavoidable, it is still best to delay or stop it from happening by following basic prevention techniques like avoiding repetitive exposure to loud sounds, wearing ear protection in loud places and controlling one’s blood sugar since people with diabetes are most prone.


As for those who have it already, wearing hearing aids will help them hear better as well as assistive devices like telephone amplifiers.


Lessons in sign language or lip reading can also help those who totally lost most of their hearing go on with their daily routines.


If you have a hearing problem, it’s time you speak to a hearing specialist and if necessary, use hearing aids as they can definitely help. If you’re a teacher, pay close attention, and if you experience any difficulty hearing, go to a hearing professional immediately  to get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription


Tips on Social Distancing as a Person with Hearing Loss

The restrictions on movement brought by the coronavirus pandemic has made it even more challenging for people with hearing loss to communicate and connect with others. Just imagine wanting to enjoy conversations with family and friends yet not being able to because of quarantine restrictions. Your frustrations may be greater because before you started wearing hearing aids, you couldn’t communicate well with others.


But don’t get carried away by your emotions about being cooped up at home when you want to be socializing. You can still socialize with family and friends while still adopting social distancing measures, as well as enjoy your time in quarantine. Here are a few tips that we think are effective.


Use Technology to Stay Connected

We live at a time when technology makes it so fast and easy to communicate with people halfway around the world. You then have no excuse to be disconnected from your family even when you’re not in the same room! You have Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype and Facetime as well as the social media websites that can be your bridge between you and your family and friends.


Call and video chat your family and friends every day, if possible, so you don’t feel alone. Besides, your calls may also be a lifeline for them since they are also cooped up at home.


If you’re having difficulties hearing others on the phone or on video chats, you can use the captioned feature – the texts of your conversation will be reflected on the screen. You will also naturally revert to reading facial expressions, perhaps even lip reading, when you’re on video chat.


Create a Daily Routine

You may want to set a routine so that there’s something familiar you can look forward to every day. You may find it comforting amidst the uncertainty of the times. You may even find it less stressful since a daily routine means being in control.


Start by listing down the activities that you should do on a daily basis, from waking up to sleeping, getting work done and relaxing, and from resting to exercising. But you don’t have to be gung-ho about following your daily routine! You are, after all, the master of your time now that you’re at home for most, if not all, of the day.


Learn Something New

Perhaps you’ve been putting off learning to bake, cook or knit. Perhaps you didn’t have the time before. So many perhaps but your time in quarantine is a great time to remove these perhaps in your life! You can learn something new, read new books and even starting a new business.


None of us wants to have physical distance from our family and friends in keeping with the social distancing and shelter-in-place orders. But we have to do our part in minimizing the spread of the coronavirus while still being connected to the outside world.


If you think you need a hearing aid, make sure that you get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription


Debunking Myths on Hearing Loss and Hearing Tests

Hearing loss is usually perceived as a less serious health condition. After all, unlike other ailments like cancer, it can’t kill a person.  This is one probable reason why a lot of people are hesitant in seeing an audiologist and undergoing a hearing test.

However, hearing loss is more serious than what people think. It can affect a person’s day-to-day living, and even put a person in serious peril. This underlines the need for people to undergo hearing tests.

Another potential reason why a lot of people put off undergoing a hearing test is their belief in myths about hearing tests and hearing loss such as: Continue reading

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