Do you get frustrated when talking with people because you struggle to hear them? Does hearing loss limit your personal and social life? Hearing loss is an ear-related condition wherein there is a partial or total loss of hearing. The inability to hear may occur in one or both ears. Loss of hearing as you age is a common problem. According to medical news, most Americans between 65 years and 75 years experience hearing loss, yet younger people can also lose the ability to hear for a variety of reasons.
Types of Hearing Loss
There are essentially three major types of hearing loss:
- Conductive hearing loss
- Sensorineural hearing loss
- Mixed hearing loss
Chronic subjection to loud unpleasant sounds contributes towards hearing loss. Other elements like excessive earwax may reduce your hearing capacity temporarily. Most of the cases involving loss of hearing are irreversible. You can consult with a reputed hearing specialist in Dubai to take concrete steps for improving your hearing.
Hearing Loss Causes
- Inner ear damage – Exposure to unpleasant loud noises and aging can damage the inner ear. Moreover, general wear and tear of the nerve cells present in the cochlea that is responsible for sending sound signals to the region in the brain can also get bruised and become inefficient. This results in hearing loss.
- Slow build-up of earwax – Excess accumulation of earwax can block the canal of the ear and stop the conduction of the sound waves.
- Abnormality and infection – When there is an abnormal bone formation in the middle or outer ear region, it may cause hearing loss. Any kind of ear affliction can also lead to hearing disability.
- Ruptured eardrum – Deafening noises, sudden loud blasting sound, and poking the eardrum with any sharp object can rupture the eardrum thus negatively affecting your hearing.
Other causes include hereditary genetic diseases, occupational noises, explosive noises that emit from jet engines, firearms, and motorcycling. All of these factors can cause permanent ear damage. Likewise, some medications such as antibiotic drugs, chemotherapy medication, antimalarial drugs, diuretics and pain relievers can cause permanent or temporary ear loss. Illnesses like cancer, high fever, and meningitis can damage the cochlea in the ear.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear hair cells are damaged or the nerve pathways leading from the inner ear region to the brain are infected or damaged. Most of the time, sensorineural hearing loss happens in elderly people. There are two special types of sensorineural hearing loss; congenital hearing loss and acquired sensorineural hearing loss.
Hearing loss in one ear may arise from varied reasons including physical ear damage, undue pressure on the ear nerves, ear infections and other diseases like mumps, measles, and meningitis.
Hearing Loss Tests
The ENT specialist may suggest a physical exam, screening tests, App-based tests, tuning fork testing or audiometer tests depending on your primary hearing loss causes and level of impaired hearing.
Hearing Loss Treatment
Modern science uses advanced technology to treat patients with hearing loss. There are various remedial options available for hearing loss problems. From the removal of earwax blockage to surgical procedures, an ENT specialist can advise a specific course of treatment depending on your hearing loss severity.
Those suffering from permanent hearing loss due to injury to the inner ear can benefit from wearing a hearing aid. You can try open fit aids or cochlear implants after discussing the associated risks and benefits with an audiologist and an ENT specialist.
What is the first sign of hearing loss?
Constant ringing sound in the ears or tinnitus can be the first sign that indicates hearing loss. It can be caused due to medication, earwax build-up, and exposure to ear splitting noises or sounds.
How can I test my hearing?
To test your hearing, you can sit in a quiet area with headphones over the ears so that you can test the right and left ears separately. Let the volume be set at a comfortable hearing level.
Can you become deaf overnight?
SSHL or Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss is also known as sudden deafness. It is an unexplained and rapid hearing loss that occurs in one ear or both ears. It may happen suddenly or over a few days. SSHL is a condition that is considered a serious medical emergency.
Can anxiety affect hearing?
Yes, anxiety or stress can affect hearing. Ears are very sensitive to change. Any emotional or physical stress conditions can adversely impact your hearing. It can also affect the earwax production.
Explain the common most cause of hearing loss?
Advancing age, injury to the ear, constant exposure to noise pollution, viral infections, medicinal drugs, shingles disease, meningitis, and diabetes are some of the common most causes of hearing loss.