Hearing loss is a common medical condition that occurs gradually with the increasing age. About one-third of people in the US that ages between 65 and 75 have some degree in loss of hearing.
Hearing loss has three types that are defined as:
- Conductive means they involve the outer or middle ear.
- Sensorineural means that they involve the inner ear.
- Mixed means a combination of both.
Not only aging but chronic exposure to loud pitch noises both contribute to hearing loss. Other factors can be excessive earwax. This can temporarily reduce how well the ears perceive sounds.
Signs and symptoms associated with hearing loss are:
- Mixing of sounds and speech.
- Difficulty in listening and understanding words, especially the background noises or in a crowded place.
- Trouble in hearing consonants.
- The affected person kept asking others to speak slowly, clearly, and loudly.
- Watching the television or radio in high volume.
- Avoiding social setting.
Loss of hearing is mostly caused by:
- Aging and exposure to high pitch sounds, cause wear and tear of the hairs and nerve cells in the cochlea that send sound signals to the brain. If the hairs and nerve cells are damaged or missing, electrical signals can not be transmitted efficiently and develop hearing loss.
Higher pitched sounds may become muffled.
- The buildup of earwax blocks the ear canal and prevents the conduction of sound signals. Removing the earwax helps in restoring the hearing.
- In the outer ear or middle ear, if there is any infection or abnormal growth or any tumor developing. They may cause hearing loss.
- High blasts of sounds, sudden changes in pitch, poking the eardrum with any object can also cause the tympanic membrane of the eardrum to rupture and affect the hearing.
If a person has hearing problems, treatment is waiting. The treatment depends mainly on the cause and severity of loss or difficulty in hearing.
Treatment options include:
- Removing earwax wax blockage. Because it is a reversible cause of hearing loss.
- Surgical procedures. Hearing loss can be treated with surgery and other procedures using surgical equipment that includes abnormalities of the eardrum and ossicles, bones of hearing.
- Hearing aids. If hearing loss is due to damage in the inner ear, a hearing aid can be helpful. A hearing aid is fit to the person with a device. Open fit aids are currently the most common and the most popular, because of their fitting and features offered.
- Cochlear implants. If a person has a severe hearing loss, then a cochlear implant is a useful option. Unlike a hearing aid, a cochlear implant bypasses and revive the damaged or nonfunctional parts of the inner ear and directly stimulates the hearing nerve and ability.