What Causes Hearing loss?
Hearing loss can occur naturally or as a result of trauma. It is not uncommon to experience hearing loss as we age, and most individuals start experiencing some kind of hearing loss after the age of 60. Apart from this, head trauma, exposure to loud music/noise, or due to genetics you can also experience permanent hearing loss at any age.
Types of Hearing Loss
Sensorineural Hearing Loss: Damage to the inner ear hair cells and/or auditory nerve, impacting the pathway from the inner ear to brain. Result of aging, noise exposure or trauma. It is usually, and in most cases treated with use of hearing aids.
Conductive Hearing Loss: An obstruction is created in the middle or outer ears. May be temporary because of earwax, middle ear fluid/congestion; or it can be more significant and require medical intervention such as a congenital malformation of the ear, or otosclerosis.
Mixed Hearing Loss: A combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss that may require both medical attention and other treatment options like hearing aids.
Signs Of Hearing Loss
- There are multiple signs of hearing loss, which may include:
- The feeling that speech and other sounds are muffled
- Difficulty in understanding words, especially that of women and children against background noises
- Need of turning up the volume of TV or other auditory device
- Problem with clarity of speech
- When there is a need to ask others to talk more loudly, clearly and slowly
- Feeling of ringing or tinnitus in the ears
- Sense of localization gets affected – meaning you are not sure where the sound is coming from
Hearing Loss Treatment
When you start experiencing and recognizing the signs of hearing loss, it is better to be proactive, and get treated before the problem causes a bigger impact. Consult an audiologist and get an accurate assessment of your hearing, and discuss what kind of rehabilitation is the best option for you.