The sense of hearing allows you to enjoy everything from a good band to the laughter of your grandchildren. However, hearing loss is common among aging individuals. Understanding hearing loss causes and how to implement preventative measures will help you continue enjoying your favorite sounds.
Hearing loss can be conductive, sensorineural, or a combination. Conductive loss can involve the tiny inner ear bones, the eardrum, or canal. Sensorineural hearing loss relates to nerve damage to the inner ear, and mixed hearing loss includes aspects of each.
What Are Hearing Loss Symptoms?
If you have difficulty understanding when others speak, particularly during larger social gatherings, it could be a symptom. Ask yourself if you experience any of these signs:
- Asking family and friends to speak clearly or turning up the television, particularly as more people enter the room
- Quit participating in conversations or avoiding certain activities because it is difficult to understand others
- Trouble hearing other noises in the home, such as the dog barking or shower running
What Causes Conductive Hearing Loss?
The hearing loss associated with the outer ear, ear canal and middle ear structures might all result as a result of genetic malformation. Injury to the tiny bones in your ear, malleus, incus and stapes can create hearing difficulties.
Ear infections, including in the ear canal, and excessive fluid in the middle ear due to a cold can also damage hearing function. Over time, the amount of hearing loss can accumulate with repeated infections.
Similarly, allergies and benign tumors can cause hearing loss. Ear wax can cause hearing troubles. If the eardrum has been ruptured, you will have difficulty hearing.
Otosclerosis is a hereditary conductive hearing loss which usually reveals itself in early adulthood and sometimes presents sensorineural hearing loss challenges as well.
What Causes Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
Unlike conductive hearing loss causes, sensorineural loss is associated with the function of the inner ear, including the nerves associated with hearing. Tumors and genetics contribute to this type of loss.
Meniere’s Disease is a disorder that includes progressive hearing loss in the low frequency range. Additional symptoms include vertigo, tinnitus and pressure in the ear. Proper diagnosis is necessary for the treatment of this condition.
Other potential contributors to sensorineural hearing loss causes include:
- Loud noises
- Various diseases, including autoimmune disorders of the inner ear and viruses that influence the region
- Head trauma
Generally, hearing deteriorates over time. However, there are instances where it can happen quickly. The hearing loss causes and treatments are different for these cases. Seek help immediately if you experience a sudden loss of hearing.
Hearing loss from aging can come from multiple areas of one’s life. For example, high blood pressure, diabetes, and medication can contribute to hearing loss. In addition to noise-induced hearing loss, hearing loss occurs at a relatively equal rate across both ears. At this time, scientists do not know how to prevent hearing loss caused by age-related issues.
For most people, making better choices when it comes to sound exposure can have a positive impact over time.
Use these rules to improve the health of your ears:
- Always use ear protection when exposed to loud noises. At work and at home, make sure that you use the best earplugs, earmuffs, or similar gear to reduce the damage to your ears.
- Turn down the volume on your television, radio, and other devices. Even a slight decrease will have a positive impact.
- Practice a hearing detox. After exposure to loud noises, such as being at a party with live music, give your ears a break the next day so they can heal.
If you are not enjoying life fully because you cannot hear what is happening around you, contact Boulevard Medical Healthcare and make an appointment for a hearing test with our certified audiologist. Likewise, if you experience sudden hearing loss, don’t hesitate to get treatment. Your health is too important!
Cam Brunson is a lifelong Bronx resident who knows the area well. He has worked in the medical industry for many years, and he is passionate about helping people find quality medical care in the Bronx. Cam is dedicated to his community, and he wants everyone to have access to the best possible medical care.