What is hearing loss?
Auditory perception is hearing. It is the ability to perceive sounds through the ears and detect various vibrations present in the surrounding medium.
In simpler words, hearing is how the ear transforms various song vibrations from the external environment and conveys it to the brain, where they are processed as sound.
When this process gets disturbed, the brain’s ability to process sound diminishes. This causes hearing loss.
Hearing loss is commonly found in people caused by over-exposure to noise.
What causes hearing loss?
Hearing loss is caused by ageing diseases and is also hereditary. It gradually occurs when a person grows old.
The main reasons for hearing loss are chronic exposure to noises and aging. However, other factors like excessive wax formation can temporarily reduce the ability to hear.
Most hearing loss cannot be reversed, but a medical professional with help improves what a person can hear.
Hearing loss occurs when
- A person is above 60 years old
- Long term exposure to loud noises
- A person in the family with hearing loss
- Genetic disorder
- Heart disease or diabetes.
- Damage to the inner ear
- Ear infections or irregular bone growth
- Disturbed eardrum.
Hearing loss is gradual. The above-mentioned factors are the most popular causes of hearing loss sometimes. Some certain medications, dramas or injuries can cause hearing loss.
What are the symptoms of hearing loss?
The most commonly exhibited signs or symptoms of hearing loss are:
- Muffled speech or sounds
- Difficulty in understanding words.
- Withdrawal from conversations
- turning up the volume of media
- Having trouble hearing due to background noise
- Difficulty in following a conversation when more people talk.
What are the types of hearing loss?
Hearing loss is classified into three types
The conductive loss involves the outer and the middle ear. The sensorineural loss deals with the inner ear, and mixed hearing loss combines both conductive and sensorineural.
How do we diagnose hearing loss?
Despite the symptoms being obvious, there are a few ways in which a doctor to diagnose hearing loss
- General screening test
- App-based hearing test
- Physical examination
- Fork test
- Audiometer tests
are some of the ways in which a doctor would diagnose hearing loss.
How do we treat hearing loss?
Even though hair loss is not curable, it can be treated for reduced symptoms. The treatment would be given based on the underlying problem. It may be
- The underlying problem
- The type of hearing loss
- The severity of the problem
- Demographic factors of a person
Some of the commonly followed treatments are:
If hearing loss Happens due to damage in the inner ear, a hearing aid will provide audio logistic benefit. The hearing aid is an electronic device that makes sound amplify.
Hearing aids are developed, and open-pit aids are very popular due to their fit in the ear and their features.
If the hearing loss is severe and hearing aids benefits are limited, a cochlear implant may be an option. This implant would amplify the sound and direct it straightly into their ear canal, unlike the hearing aid. The sound would bypass all the damaged parts of the year and directly stimulate the hearing nerve.
Some hearing loss or symptoms can be treated with surgery by removing the underlying cause of the problem.
Abnormalities of the eardrum, excessive bone growth, or other obstacles can be removed through a surgical procedure.
Wax blockage removal
Removing earwax can reverse hearing loss. Excessive accumulation of your bags would block the ear canal. A doctor would remove your mask using suction.
It is important to remember that your back should not be removed with cotton swabs or any other object, as it may cause more damage than good to the ear.
Can we prevent hearing loss?
There are a few ways to prevent hearing loss or reduce the symptoms.
Protecting the ears from loud noises would help. Using quality earmuffs or noise cancellation year birds are a few options for hearing protection.
Educating yourself on hearing loss is the first thing we can do to know its adverse effects. Proper knowledge and adequate guidance from a medical professional would help us reduce hearing loss or prevent it.
Coping up with hearing loss
Some of the ways we can cope with hearing loss are:
- Positioning ourselves to hear
- Supporting our friends and family
- Choosing a quieter setting
- Gaining the attention of the person
- Not beating up on oneself
- Normalize using hearing devices.
Hearing loss may disturb a person and make them feel inferior. It may hamper their self-esteem. Therefore, it is important to provide support to friends and family when they have hearing loss.
To sum up
Hearing loss is when a person is unable or partially unable to hear sound in one or both of their ears.
Even though not all hearing loss or preventable or reversible there are several steps that we can adopt to protect our hearing.
Seeking support and help from a medical professional provides a solution to lessen the symptoms and treat hearing loss.
Supporting and coping with family or friends who have hearing loss is important as it would provide a morale boost to them instead of lowering their self-esteem.