It is considered a medical ailment is known as hearing loss when either one or both ears are unable to detect sound. It’s more common in the elderly, but it can afflict persons of any age. Experts agree that it’s a natural consequence of getting older. It affects one in three people in the United States, making it the third most common health problem here. Hearing loss affects about 16 percent of American adults overall and 25 percent of those 65 to 74 years old.
Hearing loss is irreversible and cannot be cured, but there are many options for treatment that will help you hear sounds artificially, such as hearing aids.
Methods to treat hearing loss?
Each ear can be further broken down into its outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. Incoming sound travels through the thin skin of the outer ear and reaches the eardrum, which separates the middle ear from the inner ear. When sound waves hit the eardrum, it causes vibrations.
These ossicles (sometimes called the hammer, anvil, and stirrup bones) are located in the middle ear. The eardrum and ossicles work together to increase the intensity of vibrations from sound waves as they travel from the outer to the inner ear. The snail-shaped cochlea is part of the inner ear and is made up of nerve cells that are connected by hundreds of microscopic hairs.
Hairs on the nerve cells in the cochlea convert the vibrations from sound waves into electrical impulses. Your brain takes these electromagnetic impulses and interprets them as sound as they travel towards it.
How Many Distinct Forms Does Hearing Loss Take?
There are essentially three distinct types of hearing loss, and they are as follows:
Deafness due to Conductive Noise
It happens when the eardrum blocks the passage of sound waves from the outer ear to the middle ear bones. This deafness makes it difficult, if not impossible, to hear soft or muffled sounds. However, with the right treatment, this hearing loss may be reversible.
Damage to the auditory nerve (also known as sensorineural hearing loss, or SNHL) (SNHL)
A damaged inner ear or nerve pathways leading to the brain could be the cause of this kind of hearing loss. Most cases of SNHL are chronic, making even extremely loud sounds inaudible to the sufferer.
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Disturbance in both ears
A person with mixed hearing disorders both conductive and sensorineural hearing disorders.
When does a hearing disorder become noticeable?
Some patients may initially show no symptoms. There is a gradual onset of hearing disorder signs. The following are some of the most common warning signs of hearing loss:
Hearing loss that interferes with your daily life; deterioration of your hearing with time; ear noises
Persistent hearing impairment
Affected individuals may have the following symptoms:
- Ear pain and difficulties hearing
- Increased difficulty holding a conversation
- Frequent need to turn up the volume on the TV or radio
However, you should seek medical attention right away if you experience any of the following signs in addition to headaches or weakness:
Shortness of breath, shivering, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and stiff neck
When does hearing begin to deteriorate and what factors lead to that?
Some of the most common causes of hearing loss are:
Inner-Ear Trauma The inner ear’s cochlea, responsible for transmitting electrical impulses to the brain that are then converted into audible sound, can be damaged by chronic exposure to loud noises, illness, or simply the passage of time. Hearing loss can occur when the hair and nerve cells of the cochlea are damaged.
The gradual accumulation of ear wax can restrict the ear canal, preventing sound waves from moving freely and reducing your ability to hear.
However, hearing loss can also be caused by other conditions, such as a perforated eardrum, an ear infection, a tumor, or abnormal bone development in the ear.
Other, less common causes of hearing loss include:
Injuries to the head, treatment with ototoxic drugs, health conditions including Meniere’s disease, otosclerosis, or autoimmune diseases, and acoustic neuroma damage are all potential causes of hearing loss.
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In addition to the aforementioned factors, the following increase the likelihood that you may develop hearing loss:
Constant exposure to loud noises; a family history of the disorder; advanced age
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Can Hearing Loss Be Treated?
Eliminating wax buildup in the ear canal can help restore hearing if it is the underlying cause of your hearing disorder. The resin can be removed with the help of some wax softeners that can be purchased without a prescription. Then, using a syringe, the ear wax can be flushed out by forcing hot water down the ear canal.
To what extent can noise-induced hearing loss be avoided?
There is currently no cure for hearing disorders. However, if the following precautions are taken, it can be avoided:
Wear earplugs or some other form of hearing protection when visiting noisy areas.
Avoid unnecessary hearing disorders by having regular checkups with your doctor.
Prevent ear infections of any kind.