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Hearing loss is a common sensory problem that generally develops with increasing age or due to prolonged or persistent exposure to loud noises. It is one of the most typical problems that occurs throughout the world. If you are suffering from partial hearing loss, you may find ways of keeping in touch with your family and friends. If you are not suffering from such the following may help you keep your hearing intact for years to come.
Types of hearing loss:
There are two main types of hearing loss:
1. Conductive Hearing Loss where the problem lies in the middle ear, eardrum or ossicles. A conductive hearing loss affects the passage of sound between the eardrum and the inner ear. Sound passes down the ear canal to the ear drum and through the middle ear, where the sound is transmitted across the middle ear by the three bones called the ossicles to the inner ear.
Causes of conductive hearing loss:
- Malformation of outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear structures
- Fluid in the middle ear from colds
- Ear infection (otitis media - an infection of the middle ear in which an accumulation of fluid may interfere with the movement of the eardrum and ossicles
- Poor Eustachian tube function
- Perforated eardrum
- Benign tumors
- Impacted earwax
- Infection in the ear canal
- Foreign body in the ear
2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss where there is damage in the inner ear, cochlea or hearing nerve. Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea), or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Most of the time, SNHL cannot be medically or surgically corrected. This is the most common type of permanent hearing loss.
Causes of sensorineural hearing loss:
- Exposure to loud noise
- Head trauma
- Virus or disease
- Autoimmune inner ear disease
- Hearing loss that runs in the family
- Aging (presbycusis)
- Malformation of the inner ear
- Meniere's Disease
Coping with Hearing Loss:
Antibiotics and eardrops are often prescribed to treat hearing loss and its symptoms. In many cases, people suffering from severe hearing loss use hearing aids. Hearing aids are tiny instruments that people use in their ears to make sounds louder. People who suffer from hearing loss cope with their problems through increased concentration and focus. The usual way involves reading the moving lips of the person while they talk. Prevention is better than cure and is the best solution to avoid long term hearing loss. Avoiding continuous loud noises, to the possible extent helps prevent hearing loss to a great extent. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ent Specialist.
I get headaches if I sit in ac room/car. I also feel my ears get blocked and I suffer from hearing loss. This lasts for 1-2 days. Usually yawning suddenly opens up my ears and going to sleep makes me feel blocked again. What can I do to prevent my hearing if I cannot avoid ac. Is there any medicine/treatment?
Dear sir, my daughter is 8 year old, she has profound hearing loss in both ears (l=105, r=95), she can speak only few words. We are giving the hearing aid trial and speech therapy at rajkot, is this possible that condition can be improved by this way, or we should take another step. Please suggest me the right way. Regards
I am unable to hear after flue past 4 month from my right ear and also getting noise How it will be cure.
i had loss hearing since 2yrs ago. doctors told me that my ears sensoneural nerve was damaged and there is no chance to get back. is it possible to hear again? please.. help me
Hearing is one of the five senses that you or anyone else relies on for communication and a whole host of other things. Among the five senses, touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight, it is often hearing, which is the most easily affected. You don't have to be a senior citizen to experience hearing loss as it is quite common among younger people as well. This problem is also getting widespread with each passing day.
Before coping with hearing loss, the first job is to detect it
If you have a hunch that you or any of your loved ones is suffering from hearing loss, it is important that you get it diagnosed. Some of the common symptoms of hearing loss will be:
- Hearing difficulties while talking to someone over the phone
- Straining to hear conversations with family members or friends in household situations
- People usually need to repeat what they talk to you with a louder voice
- You often hear complaints that you keep the TV too loud.
- In crowded situations, such as family gatherings or a restaurant, you have problems listening to people.
Although this condition tends to affect senior citizens, an increasing trend shows younger people i.e. people mostly in their 40 and 50s and even younger than that suffer from this condition.
How to deal with hearing loss?
Some of the options to deal with hearing loss are mentioned below.
- Once diagnosed with hearing problems, change your ways of communication: If you or your loved ones have been diagnosed with hearing problems, it is important that both adjust your ways to deal with the problem. Rather than getting angry at the other for not being able to communicate effectively, develop and strategize ways to make communication less problematic and erratic.
- Cochlear implants: This is a newer technology, which has gained popularity in the past decade or so. These are directly implanted into the inner ear and are designed to bypass the damaged areas of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. These have become very popular, although, are not a replacement of natural hearing. It is only prescribed for people who have severe hearing loss or are deaf.
- Hearing aids: Although selecting a hearing aid is difficult as the patient needs to be comfortable, once selected it is one of the best solutions for the hearing impaired. The functionality of these devices can be extended with the hearing assistive technology or HAT devices that can focus the audio waves depending on the situations and give a more tailored approach for every individual's needs. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ent Specialist.