Hearing Loss Basics We All Should Know

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Woman with Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a problem that’s encountered by a significant part of every country’s population. As the name denotes, it’s typically attributed to the loss of sound or the inability of the brain to recognize and process incoming sounds. There are a different number of factors that actually cause hearing loss. There are also different degrees of hearing loss

A person may have trouble hearing sounds at certain frequencies or be unable to hear sounds others can hear. There can also be problems with certain areas of the ear and brain that can prevent one from hearing or understanding sound. However, hearing loss usually occurs after one is exposed to loud sounds constantly or crosses a certain age.

Hearing loss facts

It’s said that the older one gets, the higher the tendency for hearing loss to occur. Around 17 percent of the American population experiences, at least, some form of hearing loss. It usually affects the older generation and the probability of suffering from hearing loss increases after the age of 45. Almost half of the population above the age of 75 years experiences some degree of hearing loss. Moreover, it’s often men who experience the problem. For some people, it begins with troubles understanding a conversation. While for other, the problem may get some limelight when patients fail to hear certain sounds like alarms or doorbells.

Types of hearing loss

There are different ranges of hearing loss. Some people fail to hear certain sounds while others can't hear anything at all. Hearing loss can be hereditary, trauma-induced or the cause of an injury. However, two of the main types of hearing loss are:

Sensorineural hearing loss:

Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage toward a part of the auditory nerve or inner ear. Damage in those areas can usually cause permanent hearing loss. 

Conductive hearing loss:

On the other hand, conductive hearing loss is caused by a blockage in the ear nerves or certain factors that do not allow the sound waves to pass through to the brain. The problem can arise due to the build-up of earwax or a punctured eardrum. 

Both these types of hearing loss are usually accompanied by several symptoms people should look out for in advance. There could be a change in the ear’s structure that could cause the loss, which is typical for someone who is aging. Moreover, a popular symptom one can look out for is also tinnitus, a symptom characterized by a consistent nagging sound. The sounds in the ear can be anything from ringing, buzzing, roaring and clicking to even hissing in the ears.

What to Do

When one is starting to experience the symptoms mentioned above, he or she should not let the symptoms go unnoticed. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms or conditions you read here, it would be wise to go to your nearest hearing care specialist. Discovering a symptom of hearing loss and having it treated immediately will result in fewer problems later on in life. It can also prevent hearing loss entirely. A hearing test is normally free at a majority of clinics. Thus, one should not delay a visit to a hearing specialist.