Permanent bilateral hearing loss is the permanent loss of hearing in both ears. The degree of hearing loss in each ear may be the same (symmetrical), or it may be different, where one ear is worse than the other (asymmetrical).

 Causes

There are many possible causes of bilateral hearing loss, including:

  • Age
  • Prolonged exposure to noise (e.g. loud music, machinery)
  • Genetic factors (heredity)
  • Medication/drugs
  • Diseases
  • Injury or trauma

 

Diagnosis

The diagnosis process involves seeing a doctor, who may perform some hearing tests. They may then refer the person to an audiologist (hearing specialist) for further testing.

It is important to diagnose hearing loss as early as possible, especially in the case of children. This ensures that the child is able to be appropriately treated and is not hindered (more than necessary) during their developmental and educational years.

Specific to section 24 of the NDIS Act

People with a hearing loss of greater than 90 decibels (pure tone average of 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz and 4000Hz) in the ear they hear best with are likely to meet the disability requirements outlined in section 24 of the NDIS Act.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Trouble hearing in noisy areas
  • Difficulty understanding what people are saying
  • General reduction in your ability to hear from both ears

 

Treatment

Although most people with a hearing loss are not able to have their hearing completely reversed back to their normal state, there are treatments available to improve their ability to hear.

Common treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Hearing aids

In some cases, both surgery and hearing aids may be the recommended course of treatment.


Download: pdfPermanent Bilateral Hearing Loss Factsheet


Disclaimer

This fact sheet provides general information about the disability and is for informational purposes only. It is not a guarantee that you will meet the disability requirements in section 24 of the NDIS Act.


Information sourced from: Hear ItHearing ChoicesMayo ClinicHealth Direct