Causes and Treatment of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is the most common health problem in the U.S. and also on the jump with nearly 36 million Americans now declaring lost hearing. When hearing goes, it may also affect the quality of life and relationships. In this article, we look at the causes and treatment of hearing loss so if you have lost some of your hearing, you’ll find strategies to keep lines of communication not closed with friends and family. If your hearing is still intact, this article could help you keep it that way for years to come.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Certain conditions comprising age, illness and genetics may contribute to hearing loss. Over several generations, modern life has included a host of ear-damaging elements to the list, including some medications and plenty of sources of loud and continuous noise.
First of all, the very common cause of Hearing Loss is Advanced Age. One out of three people aged 65-74 has some level of hearing loss. After 75 years of age, that ratio rises up to one out of every two people. Researchers don’t fully understand why hearing reduces with age. It could be that lifetime exposure to noise and other damaging factors slowly wear down the ears’ delicate mechanics.
Noise wears down hearing if it’s loud or unbroken. In some workplaces, ears are exposed to dangerous noise levels every day. 44% of carpenters and 48% of plumbers report some hearing loss. Other noisy lines of work include the mining, military, agriculture, manufacturing and transportation. Even musicians, who literally create music for our ears, are at risk for noise actuated hearing loss. Some now wear special earplugs to protect their ears when they perform. The earplugs allow them to hear music without affecting their ears’ inner workings.
Certain illnesses, like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease put ears at risk by interfering with the ears’ blood supply. Otosclerosis is a bone ailment of the middle ear and Meniere’s disease affects the inner ear. Both can cause hearing loss.
Shock, especially that which involves a skull fracture or punctured eardrum, puts ears at serious risk for hearing loss.
Treatment of Hearing Loss
Firstly, the treatment of hearing loss depends on the source and type of hearing loss. Surgery may reverse hearing loss caused by otosclerosis, infection or scar tissue while Meniere’s disease is sometimes treatable with medication and diet modification. Hearing loss caused by infection can usually be treated with antibiotics.
If you think your hearing loss stems from medication use, talk with your doctor about different drug options. Prompt medical treatment for sudden hearing loss may increase the chance of recovery. People with continuing hearing loss need to learn how to function with the hearing they still have.
Furthermore, hearing aids are very small instruments that you wear in or behind your ear that make sounds louder. Things do sound different by a hearing aid so it’s important to talk with your doctor to set realistic goals.
Other sound increasing technologies include personal listening systems that let you tune-in to what you want to hear and mute other sounds. TV listening systems make it practicable for you to hear the television or radio without turning the volume way up. Thus, different kinds of phone intensify devices are available to make conversations possible on home and mobile phones.