Prolongedexposure To Excessive Noise
While a single loud blast may temporarily worsen your hearing, repeated exposures to blasts or other loud noises can lead to permanent hearing loss. In fact, this the most common form of sensorineural hearing loss, which is permanent. Sensorineural refers to the ears’ nerves and tiny sensory cells that are easily damaged.
Four Levels Of Deafness
There are four levels of deafness or hearing impairment. These are:
- Mild deafness or mild hearing impairment: The person can only detect sounds between 25 and 29 decibels . They may find it hard to understand the words other people are saying, especially if there is a lot of background noise.
- Moderate deafness or moderate hearing impairment: The person can only detect sounds between 40 and 69 dB. Following a conversation using hearing alone is very difficult without using a hearing aid.
- Severe deafness: The person only hears sounds above 70 to 89 dB. A severely deaf person must either lip-read or use sign language in order to communicate, even if they have a hearing aid.
- Profound deafness: Anybody who cannot hear a sound below 90dB has profound deafness. Some people with profound deafness cannot hear anything at all, at any decibel level. Communication is carried out using sign language, lip-reading, or reading and writing.
How To Know If You Need Ear Care And Hearing Aid
According to WHO, more than 430 million adults and 34 million children are facing hearing loss worldwide.
It could be because of heredity, chronic illness, head injury, trauma, ear infection, or a hundred different reasons.
Most of the people facing hearing loss are in denial, thereby causing more damage to their ears.
If treated in time, you might be able to save your hearing powers or at least get the right treatment at one-stop audiology services.
Before you seek treatment, you need to know if you need a hearing aid. So here are some things you must look out for.
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Hearing Loss: A Common Problem For Older Adults
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Hearing loss is a common problem caused by noise, aging, disease, and heredity. People with hearing loss may find it hard to have conversations with friends and family. They may also have trouble understanding a doctors advice, responding to warnings, and hearing doorbells and alarms.
Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 has difficulty hearing. But, some people may not want to admit they have trouble hearing.
Older people who cant hear well may become depressed, or they may withdraw from others because they feel frustrated or embarrassed about not understanding what is being said. Sometimes, older people are mistakenly thought to be confused, unresponsive, or uncooperative because they dont hear well.
Hearing problems that are ignored or untreated can get worse. If you have a hearing problem, see your doctor. Hearing aids, special training, certain medicines, and surgery are some of the treatments that can help.
How Do I Know If I Have Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be due to the aging process, exposure to loud noise, certain medications, infections, head or ear trauma, congenital or genetic factors, diseases, as well as a number of other causes. Recent data suggests there are over 34 million Americans with some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss often occurs gradually throughout a lifetime. People with hearing loss compensate often without knowing they have hearing loss.
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Causes Of Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is an issue with the inner ear. This part of the earincludes the vestibule, cochlea, and semicircular canals.
Unlike conductive hearing loss, this is an issue of the sound vibrations not making it from the eardrum to the auditory nerve. Therefore it doesnt matter how loud the sound is, we will have trouble hearing it.
Some of the causes of this type of hearing loss include:
- Illnesses that affect the inner ear
- Infections in the inner ear
- Side effects from medications toxic to hearing
- Head trauma
- Exposure to extremely loud noises or explosions
The use of hearing aids is a noninvasive solution to compensating for sensorineural hearing loss which can drastically improve your quality of life.
Yet people are hesitant to use hearing aids.
The NIH observed that: among adults aged 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, fewer than one in three has ever used them. Even fewer adults aged 20 to 69 who could benefit from wearing hearing aids have ever used them.
Thats why Vibe Hearing is dispelling myths around hearing. There are a lot of myths about hearing and hearing loss that we at Vibe Hearing are trying to dispel.
Trouble Speaking On The Phone
Difficulties hearing people on the phone is often one of the earlier signs of hearing loss. Although you may be able to follow a conversation in person, you might find it hard to follow on the phone because the sound quality is not as clear. You should check the volume control on your phone and if you find that you are turning it up to full, that is an indication that you are experiencing the early stages of hearing loss and you should see an audiologist.
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Hearing Impairment In Toddlers And Children
These signs might become more evident in slightly older children:
- The child is behind others the same age in oral communication.
- The child keeps saying âWhat?â or âPardon?â
- The child talks in a very loud voice, and tends to produce louder-than-normal noises.
- When the child speaks, their utterances are not clear.
Signs Of Hearing Loss
A “sign” is what a health care provider can detect with testing or a medical exam . To look for the signs of hearing loss, a hearing care provider will generally start with questions about symptoms you’re experiencing, and then conduct a formal hearing test to see how well you hear beep-like sounds , speech in noise and other sounds. Your hearing is then plotted on an audiogram that shows the extent of your hearing loss in both ears. Here’s how to know if you need your hearing tested.
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Hearing Loss And Dementia
A breakthrough study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore found a link between those who develop hearing loss and dementia. Dr. Frank Lin from Johns Hopkins states that our research is now demonstrating that hearing loss doesnt just affect a persons quality of life. It may also lead to a decline in cognitive function.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hearing Loss
The first signs of hearing loss can be hard to notice and might include:
- having trouble hearing in noisy places
- having trouble hearing conversations and understanding what people say
- have trouble understanding people unless they are facing you, or often needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- hearing sounds as muffled, as though people are mumbling
- needing to have the TV up louder than other people
- often missing your phone or the doorbell ringing
- hearing a constant buzzing or ringing in your ears
- finding that loud noises cause you more discomfort than previously
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor.
Some people also get tinnitus, where they hear ringing or strange noises in their ears.
It can be hard to determine whether or not children have trouble hearing. Some signs that there might be problems include:
- if your baby doesn’t startle at a loud noise, or turn their head to a sound
- if they start speaking later than other kids or don’t understand simple words like ‘bye bye’ at 4-8 months
- if their speech is unclear, compared with the speech of other kids their age
- if they want the TV volume up high
- if they dont hear or understand directions
Find out more about hearing loss in children on the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website. You should talk to your doctor if you notice any changes in your or your childs hearing.
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Hearing Aids And Implants
If you have permanent hearing loss, a specialist will often recommend hearing aids. These will not make your hearing perfect, but they make sounds louder and clearer.
Some people may need a hearing implant. These are devices that are attached to your skull or placed deep inside your ear.
What Other Kinds Of Hearing Tests Can Babies Have
If your baby doesnt pass his ABR or OAE test in newborn screening, her provider refers her to an audiologist. This is a person with special training to diagnose and treat hearing loss in newborns, children and adults. Your childs provider also may refer your baby to an otolaryngologist . This is a doctor with special training in ear, nose and throat care.
An audiologist gives your baby a full hearing test to check for hearing loss. This can include the ABR and OAE tests, as well as other hearing tests. The audiologist also may use a behavioral audiometry evaluation to check how all parts of your babys ear work. For this test, the audiologist sees how your baby responds to sound by watching for changes in behavior. Your baby has to be awake for this test. The audiologist plays a sound and checks to see if your baby reacts. For example, your babys eyes may move or your baby may turn her head, suck on a pacifier, get quiet or seem to be listening for the sound. If your baby responds to the sound, the audiologist gives your baby a reward, like a toy with flashing lights. This is called visual reinforcement audiometry.
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You Struggle To Follow Conversations
Its not just TV and phones you might struggle to hear people in real life, too. Just like in our introduction, you might find yourself asking what? more often than youd like, frustrating yourself or the people you talk to.
This might be at its worst in louder environments, like crowded restaurants or windy parks, where the sound gets all mixed up and distorted.
Youve Taken Certain Medications Throughout Your Life
Some medications are known as ototoxic oto meaning ear, and toxic meaning toxic. These drugs, while being prescribed to help certain other conditions, can damage the hair cells within the interior of the ear.
These drugs can include chemotherapy agents, antibiotics, and even aspirin all of which can limit the blood flow to your ears and asphyxiate the hair cells, or even actively attack them. If youre taking any medication, do some research into it and see if theres a chance it could have harmed your hearing.
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What Can Cause You To Be Hard Of Hearing
A variety of factors can lead to being hard of hearing. They can include:
- Aging: Our ability to hear due to the degeneration of the structures in the ear.
- Loud noises: Exposure to loud noises during leisure activities or at your workplace can damage your hearing.
- Infections: Some infections can lead to hearing loss. These can include things like chronic middle ear infections , meningitis, and measles.
- Infections during pregnancy: Certain maternal infections can lead to hearing loss in babies. These can include rubella, cytomegalovirus , and syphilis.
- Injury: An injury to the head or ear, such as a blow or fall, can potentially lead to hearing loss.
- Medications: Some medications can cause hearing loss. Examples include some types of antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, and diuretics.
- Congenital abnormalities: Some people are born with ears that havent formed properly.
- Genetics: Genetic factors can predispose someone to develop hearing loss.
Take Action Against Hearing Loss
If several of these early signs and symptoms of hearing loss sound familiar, you may have hearing loss. Its OKyoure not alone. The first step you should take if you feel you may be suffering from hearing loss is to have your hearing checked by a Miracle-Ear Hearing Instrument Specialist. They’ll help determine the degree of hearing loss, if any, and whether hearing aids could help. Thanks to the wide availability of hearing aid technology, hearing loss doesnt have to control your life.
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You Struggle To Hear Words On The Tv Or Phone
Even the most mild cases of hearing loss can lead someone to struggle with parsing speech, which means you might notice yourself turning up the TV, or even receiving complaints about the volume from loved ones or neighbors.
When a persons hearing starts to fail, they start by losing the ability to hear high frequency sounds, like s, f, or th. This can cause jarring gaps in a persons sentence, and can lead to you misunderstanding them, causing you to turn up the TV or switch the phone to the other ear.
How To Recognize Hearing Impairment
Now and again hearing misfortune can be progressive and it goes unnoticed until the point when it is exceptionally articulated. At the point when there is a situation, which can bring about disappointment, withdrawal from social exercises, loneliness, seclusion, and depression. Individuals lose the capacity to take in sounds like winged animal tunes, stirring of leaves, the voices of friends and family and music.
The indications of hearing loss can be unpretentious and develop gradually, or early indications of hearing misfortune can be critical and come to fruition all of a sudden. In any case, there are normal signs and hearing weakened signs.
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Symptoms By Hearing Loss Type:
- High-frequency: high-pitched sounds are hard to hear
- Noise-notch: some high-pitched sounds are hard to hear
- Mid-range: mid-range sounds are hard to hear
- Low-frequency: low-pitched sounds are hard to hear
- Conductive : hearing loss from damage to middle or outer ear
- Sudden: hearing loss onset is rapid
- Flat: all pitches are hard to hear
- Single-sided: only one ear is affected
- : the hearing loss may go away
What Causes Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is a problem with the inner ear. Typically, hair cells in the inner ear convert signals from the middle ear into electrical signals which are sent to the brain and interpreted as speech or sound. A child has sensorineural hearing loss when the hair cells in the inner ear are damaged.
Sensorineural hearing loss is sometimes present at birth while for other children, it develops later. This is considered acquired hearing loss.
Causes for sensorineural hearing loss at birth include:
- genetics children of parents with hearing loss are more likely to have hearing issues as well
- premature birth
- mother infected with toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes, or syphilis during pregnancy
Causes of acquired sensorineural hearing loss include:
- exposure to loud noises
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Social Signs Of Hearing Loss
Many people develop adaptive behaviorsor habitsto help compensate for the progression of their hearing loss in social settings. They may not even realize theyre doing it! Learn more about the two most common early social signs of hearing loss.
- Social bluffing: Those with hearing loss often practice “social bluffing,” or pretending to hear. They might behave in a way that feigns understanding of what was said. For example, a person with hearing loss may smile and nod along, or respond with vague expressions such as “thats interesting” or “uh-huh.” They often take cues from other peoples reactions in the room, too, such as laughing along if they notice other people are laughing.
- Lip-reading and body language: Another common, but subtle hearing loss behavior is learning to read a persons lipsas well as facial expressions, hand gestures and body languageto help fill in the gaps. Those with hearing loss may start to rely on these visual cues to clarify what was said, and may turn to face the speaker more directly to better observe them.
Getting Tested For Hearing Loss
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