Hearing loss is a slow occurring issue. Studies have shown that it can start occurring 7 years early before diagnosis. So what are the symptoms? And what can you do?
What is hearing loss?
Hearing loss is the inability to listen to sounds, whether partially or fully. It can occur in one or two ears; it can be permanent or temporary. Nevertheless, it is difficult for children as it restricts their ability to learn spoken language, while adults face problems in their workspace.
Moreover, reports have shown that most people around the age of 65 to 75 have some degree of hearing loss.
Causes of hearing loss
Let’s take a look at the causes that might result in hearing loss;
Damage to the inner ear
Loud noises and aging might cause the tear of nerve cells, which leads to not being able to send electric signals to the brain.
Ear wax can block the ear canal, which results in a reduction of hearing quality. You can get your ear wax cleaned at your nearest Audiologist (ear doctor). Finally, avoid using cotton swabs as they tend to build up ear wax in your ear.
Ear infection/ Growing tumor
It is advised to visit your nearest doctor if you believe this is the case.
The eardrum is a flap of skin that works as a receiver for noise. Damage to the eardrum includes; sudden ear pain, ear noise, ear buzzing… this is a result of sudden loud noises (explosions, airplane engine…)
Symptoms of hearing loss
We recommend visiting a doctor if you are showing any symptoms of hearing loss;
- Difficulty using the telephone
- Problems in locating the origin of sounds
- Struggles to understand speech in places with background noise (party) or of people with high-frequency pitch (Children, women)
- Finding yourself increasing the volume of your device regularly to be able to listen to it properly.
- Noises are sounding muffled or dull.
However, hearing loss isn’t sensory alone; patients have also reported feeling constant buzzing (Tinnitus), pain, and pressure, and many more.
Diagnosis and levels of hearing loss:
If you show these symptoms, you’ll need to visit your doctor, who might also send you to an expert audiologist who can help with your diagnosis. What you should know is that hearing loss has many degrees, and your treatment depends on your level of hearing loss:
0-25 DB: Normal hearing
25-40 DB: Mild hearing loss: difficulty in understanding soft/quiet conversations with loud background noise.
40-60 DB: Moderate hearing loss: High volume levels are required to listen to media. (TV-radio) and general hardship in understanding conversations.
60-80DB: Severe hearing loss: Conversations need to be louder.
0dB Profound: hearing loss: Amplified devices and speech is still difficult to understand.
Treatment (Hearing aids):
When it comes to hearing loss, most treatments are done by using Hearing Aids. Those are devices that are implemented near your ear that help you to listen clearly. Your Audiologist will show you how to maintain, clean, and use it. Since hearing aids can be quite expensive, averaging around $2500, it is recommended to get a suitable health insurance plan. Also, one should keep in mind that a handful of insurance plans do not cover hearing aids. Luckily there are many programs and plans that offer coverage on hearing aids. Consult health insurance experts to compare health insurance quotes and see which plan will cover your hearing needs
Lastly, here are some methods that can help to prevent hearing loss:
Protect your ears
Make sure to wear ear mufflers and plugs around loud environments to limit hearing loss.
Avoid loud recreational media.
This one goes out to all the metal and rock fans and music lovers, try to lower the volume to save your ears.
Get regularly tested
You should get your hearing regularly tested to clear any future developments of hearing loss.
Limit loud noises
Buy quieter appliances, avoid loud environments, and regularly wear ear protection.