The rustling of grass, chirping of birds, crunching of leaves under our feet, pattering of rain, and other sounds of nature are the ones that we enjoy hearing since they are the most peaceful.
However, when our hearing betrays us, we feel exhausted and upset for not being able to fully interpret each sound and even words of our loved ones. Hearing loss cannot always be prevented, as it can occur as a result of aging but there are some situations when you can avoid hearing damage, such as not listening to loud music for a long time or quitting smoking.
Today, we are here to help you know the symptoms, causes, and treatments of hearing loss as it’s a crucial sense, like all other senses we have.
First of all, we need to understand symptoms of hearing damage to quickly identify it and take action against the loss. At first, you may not understand that you are developing hearing loss; your friends and family members may be the first to identify that you have issues with hearing. You may be experiencing common symptoms of hearing loss when you:
- Have difficulty hearing and interpreting what someone says, particularly when there is background noise.
- Ask your friends or family members to repeat what they said.
- Turn up the sound of TV, music, and radio to hear better.
- Have issues hearing the conversation over the phone.
- Have difficulty hearing bird songs and consonants.
- Ask your friends to speak slowly, loudly, and clearly.
- Have problems with communicating as you have difficulty following a conversation.
- Prefer being alone and avoid social places that you liked before, such as friend meetings, sitting at cafes and restaurants, etc.
- Feel exhausted, upset, and overwhelmed after focusing on listening.
- Hear muffled sounds and words.
- Hear ringing, roaring, hissing during developing tinnitus.
- Don’t understand where the sound or voice comes from.
- Rely on your friends to understand the conversation.
Now, as you know the symptoms of hearing loss, it’s the right time to understand its common causes, let's dive in:
- Getting old makes the tiny hair cells inside the cochlea, that are responsible for conveying sound impulses to your brain, wear out. In the same way, long-term exposure to loud music can cause these cells to deteriorate and they won’t transmit the signals, causing hearing loss because of which you cannot interpret conversations over the background noise. When the inner ear becomes damaged, hearing loss occurs.
- Otosclerosis is a condition that makes it more difficult for the middle ear's small bones to move. When this bone stops vibrating, sound cannot flow through the ear, and your hearing suffers as a result.
- Earwax buildup is another reason during which the ear canal gets clogged. Remove the earwax to recover your hearing with a professional earwax removal procedure.
- Medicine you consume has side effects, so always consult with your doctor before taking them as some medicines can cause hearing loss, such as high doses of aspirin, loop diuretics, etc.
- A burst eardrum is another reason which occurs when you poke a sharp object inside, or there are changes in pressure (e.g. flying), or there is an unexpected loud sound (e.g. explosion), or you have an ear infection.
- Other causes can be infections, diseases such as Meniere’s disease, autoimmune ear disease, etc.
- And head or brain injury can cause hearing loss and tinnitus (from neck injury).
You need to seek treatment whenever there is noticeable hearing loss. However, it depends on what causes your hearing problems — for instance, you can remove earwax and recover your hearing if it’s caused because of an earwax buildup. So, what you need to consider is the severity of your hearing damage, your age, the type and causes of hearing loss, your habits that may affect your hearing, your budget, and more.
During hearing loss, one of the most common treatments is the usage of quality hearing aids. Hearing aids are typically used to help people improve their hearing and speech comprehension. They are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes, prices, colours, technology levels, and more. They also improve your general health, reducing feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger. Also, they can improve emotional well-being, self-confidence, mental and physical health, and more.
Here are some extra tips for you to apply healthy habits for preventing hearing loss:
- Don’t be around loud music for a long time and stay away from speakers. Don’t listen to music or TV at higher levels and follow the warnings that your smartphones show when the music sound is very high and can potentially harm your hearing. Avoid visiting loud and noisy places and if you work in nightclubs, try to give your ears a break for 15 minutes or ask your human resources provide ear protection. When you go to crowded places, choose seats where the sound and noise aren’t intense. When listening to music, wear noise-cancelling earphones and reduce the volume of TV and radio.
- Quit smoking as it can put your hearing at risk.
- Test your hearing regularly, especially if you work in noisy places because early detection of any hearing problems can help you find solutions quicker, prevent its development, and, in some cases, save your hearing.
- Dry your ears thoroughly after swimming as moisture is a perfect place for bacteria to thrive. This can be a reason for further infections, and cause pain and itchiness in your ears.
- Go to a psychologist and manage your stress as it’s one of the main causes for many health problems.
- Remove earwax buildup by using an at-home watering kit or getting help from specialists.
These were some of the symptoms, causes, and treatments for hearing loss, double-check them and protect your hearing.