Hearing Loss – Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Do you often find yourself asking everybody to repeat what they said? Has it gotten harder to talk to someone in a noisy, crowded place? Do you notice a ringing in your ears when everything is quiet?

Now A Days, People of any age may suffer from Hearing Loss. You can even experience hearing loss as you’re born, and it can have lasting repercussions for the child’s sensory development if you don’t address it as soon as possible. Whether short-term or lasting, hearing loss does not always improve with medical treatment. This article will cover the basics of hearing loss, including signs to look for, types of hearing loss and treatment options available.

If you have worked with heavy machinery, firearms or power tools. Especially if you haven’t always worn protection such as earplugs, you probably suffer some sudden hearing loss. Even spending time in a crowded bar or going to lots of movies or concerts can take its toll on your hearing.Hearing loss creeps up on you. It occurs gradually, so it is often difficult to tell.

Here are some of the tell-tale signs that you might have some hearing loss:

    • It seems like everybody is mumbling all the time. If you notice that people speak more quietly lately, it’s probably you! Also, if you find yourself turning the TV or stereo volume up higher, it’s probably not because the electronics are wearing out.
    • You often ask people to repeat things. This is something that may be hard to notice, but see how often you do it. If you misunderstand a lot of things people say, this may also be an indication that you are suffering from sensorineural or sudden hearing loss. You might also find yourself paying more attention to peoples’ faces in everyday conversation. This is a causes of hearing loss.

  • Hearing loss is not only a medical problem. It is often a social issue. If you lose a significant amount of your hearing, it becomes embarrassing to socialize. You may find yourself often nervous and stressed out when you interact with others. These conditions often go hand in hand with loss of hearing: circulation problems, thyroid problems, diabetes and heart trouble. If you have, you may be at a higher risk of suffering hearing problems or sudden hearing loss in one ear as well.
  • It’s hard to continue any conversation. You might also experience stress and feel nervous when you have to talk to people. It is common for people to feel tired because they are always trying their hardest to follow what people are saying.
  • Some types of hearing loss are genetic. If you have older family members who have trouble hearing, you may develop the same problem. Some kinds of middle ear disturbances are caused by a disease rather than environmental factors.
  • You often get ear infections hearing loss or experience dizziness. This might not be just wax build-up.
  • Ringing in the ears. Many people experience a high pitched ringing in their ears, and it may not be noticeable all of the time. When you are in a quiet place, you are more likely to hear it.

If any of these signs sound familiar, go to your doctor and get your ears tested & proper hearing loss treatment. The sooner you start take care of the problem, the easier it will be to reverse your hearing loss.

Types Of Hearing Loss

It is estimated that 31.5 million people of United States suffer from hearing loss which equates to about 10 of the population (BHI, 2010). Sudden Hearing loss affects all ages from newborns to the elderly. Three types of hearing loss exist including sensorineural, conductive, and a mixed hearing loss.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs because of dysfunction in the inner ear or auditory nerve. It can cause a decrease in loudness and distorted speech. Even with increased loudness, clarity may still be affected by a sensorineural hearing loss. Amplification through hearing aids provides the best treatment for most individuals (BHI, 2010).

Conductive Hearing LossConductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss results from a disease or medical condition of the middle ear. Sound cannot be conducted through the middle ear when blocked. It causes a decrease in intensity of sound when it reaches the inner ear. Often times conduction hearing losses can be medically treated to completely or at least partially reverse hearing loss (BHI, 2010). Amplification may still be needed in some cases.

 

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss is the combination of a conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Amplification may be necessary, but the conductive portion of the hearing loss should be treated medically if possible. Click here to know how to overcome this problem.

Symptoms & Causes

Symptoms of Hearing Loss Include – 

  • Difficulty in comprehension of the word which is known as Word Deafness, 
  • some psychological problems occur such as Schizophrenia which is responsible for misdiagnosis of the actually diseased state, 
  • hearing loss that occurs suddenly. 
  • Other Symptoms are the inability to recognize random sounds such as the ringing of the telephone or music.

The Causes of Hearing Loss Include – 

  • Lesions in the bilateral brainstem
  • Damage in the structures of the brainstem
  • Severe head trauma also results in loss oh hearing
  • Temporal lesions on the right side
  • Some other Causes are injuries in the brainstem which is however rare because a lesion when occurs on the brainstem on both sides then deafness results.

Treatment

The treatment is not actually possible with the help of medication or any surgical procedures. Since it is not diagnosed easily and often misdiagnosed as a psychological problem it becomes really difficult to provide sudden sensorineural hearing loss treatment. Although it can be prevented with the help of different hearing aid devices on the market. 

1. Hearing Aids

Hearing devices can help you to hear properly.These devices are with different features like digital hearing aids, affordable hearing devices, rechargeable hearing aids for the best use of person with hearing loss. 

The patient should avoid the environmental noise by lowering the volume of Television or radio and other appliances of music, usage of headphones should be avoided by the patients of Central Hearing Loss, experts say that a patient should avoid continuous exposure to the music which is amplified in the range of 104 to 111 decibels. The Hearing Fix is however helpful in treating this type of conditions. The Hearing Treatment is responsible to provide the essential compounds to the body which helps in proper hearing.

Different Types Based On Technology:

analog vs digital hearing aid

Analog Hearing Aids

Analog Hearing Aids consist of a microphone and receiver, and take outside noise and boost it to an audible level. Then, the sound is sent into the ear. While analog hearing aids are fairly limited in what they can do.

Programmable Analog Hearing Aids

Programmable analog hearing aids, which offer more features. They compare quite well with digital aids, and differ mainly in the way that they do not use digital sound processing to manipulate the sounds.

Digital hearing aids

Most hearing aid users will tell you that digital is the way to go. Digital hearing aids offer some advantages over the old analog ones, and they are much more popular. Digital hearing aids actually have a computer chip inside that can do much more than simply raise the sound level. It sample the sound in the same way that digital audio technology does, and can produce better sound quality.In addition, digital hearing aids can be adjusted for the user, bringing out certain frequencies more strongly than others. If, for example, you suffer hearing loss in high frequency ranges, a digital hearing aid can be programmed to boost those high frequencies.

A great feature that digital hearing aids allow you to use is the dual microphone system. This means that the device actually has two microphones. One can be set to pick up sounds that are directly in front of the listener, while the other picks up everything. Dual microphone systems have a switch so that you can go back and forth between a regular setting, and one that focuses on sounds coming from certain directions.

The old digital hearing aids were clunky and wasted batteries. The first models, which were introduced in 1987, didn’t sell very well because they needed so much power to run. Now, digital hearing aids have been streamlined. You can buy digital hearing aids in all the same styles: behind-the-ear, in-the-ear or in-the-canal.

Digital hearing aids are popular with hearing aid users. Gradually, the old analog hearing aids are being phased out. Whether you choose digital or analog, be sure to get the hearing aid that suits your needs.

Different Types Based On Style

How many different types of hearing aids are there? Choose the Right Style of Hearing Aid for you. If you’re looking to purchase a new hearing aid or even your first one ever, know that there are a number of styles created to fit your needs. 

BTE:

One of the more traditional styles is the behind-the-ear (BTE) device.Behind The Ear Hearing AidThis particular style is a bit more noticeable because it fits along the outside of the ear, but can still be easily concealed if discreetness is important to you.A major benefit of the BTE style is its flexibility. It is easy to adjust for just the right fit so you won’t be constantly readjusting for better comfort. BTE hearing aids vary in the placement of the receiver. Some have a receiver in the ear canal (RIC), while others have a receiver that sits in the outer part of the canal. BTE devices often provide more amplification because they have a larger amplifier and battery.

ITE:

Another popular hearing aid is an in-the-ear style (ITE). This device is smaller than a BTE version but still offers a great deal of amplification and can incorporate a telephone switch feature.Even smaller is the in-the-canal style (ITC) that fits far into the ear canal. However, with its reduced battery size and amplifier, this is a style recommended for people with only mild to moderate hearing loss. Being smaller and farther into the ear, this hearing aid is much less noticeable than the previous two.

CIC:

Finally, there is a completely-in-the-canal device (CIC). This is the smallest and most discreet of the hearing aids. This style also offers a telephone feature. Due to the fact that it must be placed deep in the ear canal, they aren’t suitable for children or persons with very small ears for amplification.The CIC device should also only be used with mild to moderate hearing loss patients.

 

As you chose which hearing aid is right for you be sure to consider what qualities are most important when it comes to your hearing aid and what will suit you best. The American Hearing Aid Associates also offer a range of information and help regarding hearing aids.

2. Hearing Protection Devices

Today, there are a wide range of hearing protection device for an individual. For those who working in noisy areas will often result in some form of hearing loss. Everyone should consider using some form of ear protection devices.

Ear Plugs

Ear Plugs are probably the most cost effective, simple and durable option when it comes to hearing protection. Though ear plugs are simple, make sure to choose one of good quality. Some cheep earplugs have minimal protection and may not fit well-causing discomfort. If your earplug does not fit or is inserted improperly, you may not get the protection you expecting.

Ear Muffs

Ear muffs are the next most affordable choice. They range from inexpensive sets to high end electronic ear muffs. Inexpensive ear muffs may offer immediate protection for very little out of pocket, but they may lose their seal as time goes on, leaving you with little or no protection. Electronic ear muffs can be a very good choice, but it may be difficult to choose which is best. Many electronic ear muff manufacturers do not include an NRR rating with their products.

Digital Ear Protection

The newest device for hearing protection uses digital technology. There are a few different models available. A good example of today’s digital ear protection devices is the SportEAR. These digital “ears” can help you hear the quietest step of nearby game, but they shut down as soon as they detect any sound louder than a set decibel level. These devices provide both an NRR and a maximum output number, so you can shop around to find the one that suits you best. They are tiny, comfortable to wear, and are equipped with a sensitive volume control.

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