Lend an Ear to Auditory Health Advice: Recognizing and Treating Hearing Loss
We may be used to associating hearing loss with the elderly, but the truth is that you can experience deterioration in your auditory health at any age. Just think how different your life would be without hearing. You’d have to learn new ways to communicate with others and engage with the world at large. Luckily, there are certain ways that you can prevent certain types of hearing loss or at least improve your experience of the symptoms. Read on for everything that you could possibly need to know when it comes to the realm of ears and hearing.
Types of Hearing Loss
There are various degrees of auditory loss. The types that individuals experience range from mild to profound. So be aware that hearing loss isn’t always an immediate incident. Often, conditions will deteriorate, resulting in a steady decline in hearing. The four main types of hearing loss are conductive, sensorineural, mixed and neural.
Recognizing the Symptoms and Causes of Hearing Loss
Here, we will delve into the symptoms of the four most common types of hearing loss. Keep an eye out for them in both yourself and your loved ones.
Conductive Hearing Loss
- Muffled sound
- Sounds are low or quiet
This type of hearing loss is most often caused by outer or middle ear infections, complete earwax blockage, deterioration of the middle ear bones, fixation of the middle ear bones, a hole in the eardrum or the complete absence of middle or outer ear features.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
- Muffled speech
- Difficulty focusing on background noise
This hearing loss occurs when individuals have problems with the receptors in the ears. The hair cells in their ears may have been abnormal since birth, they may have experienced damage to the hair cells in their ears or the hair cells may be damaged as a natural part of the aging process.
Mixed Hearing Loss
The clue to understanding mixed hearing loss lies in the name. It is essentially a mixture of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss!
Neural Hearing Loss
Neural hearing loss occurs when the auditory nerve is missing, damaged or abnormal. The purpose of this nerve is to carry impulses from the cochlea to the brain, allowing an individual to hear effectively. Causes can include genetics, acoustic tumors, in-utero exposure to specific infections and severe jaundice during infancy.
Treating Hearing Loss
While much hearing loss is irreversible, there are certain ways to improve the symptoms, such as having hearing aids fitted. Hearing aids do not cure conditions, but they do help to amplify sounds, allowing you to pick up on them more easily. If you are experiencing any form of hearing problems, visit your doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to conduct a complete examination of your ears and fit hearing aids if they are deemed necessary.
Being more aware of potential problems that you could face means that you will pick up on symptoms sooner rather than later, allowing you to take precautions and seek out the treatment that will improve your overall lifestyle and well-being.