Hearing loss is also termed as hearing impairment. It exists when there is diminished sensitivity to the sounds normally heard. Its severity could be categorized according to the increase in volume above the usual level necessary before the listener can detect it.
There are various different factors that a hearing loss can be attributable to. The highly obvious factor is Presbycusis caused due to aging. Our ability to have good hearing is also affected by various other factors. Following are some of them:
Problems related to heart or blood – inner ear (cochlea) function could be impaired permanently due to any starvation of oxygen to it.
Ototoxic drugs – it also includes the likes of quinine.
Wax – when an ear wax is built up, it can occlude the ear canal.
Genetic – Hearing loss can be inherited. Some hearing losses run in the family.
Physical trauma – There is a possibility of damage either to the ear or to the brain centers that process the aural information conveyed by the ears.
People who sustain head injury are especially vulnerable to hearing loss or tinnitus, either temporary or permanently. For example, a blow to the head can damage the internal physical mechanisms.
Perforated ear drum – Hearing loss can occur if one pokes anything into the ears which ruptures the eardrum (tympanic membrane).
Loud noise – A sudden or prolonged loud noise levels could result in hearing loss. Noise is the reason of approximately half of all reasons of hearing loss.
Illness – There are a number of diseases that cause abnormal growths of bone or other tissue in the ear.
Neurological disorders – Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and strokes can affect hearing ability.
Medications – Some medications cause reversible or irreversible damage to the ear. Such medications are limited in their use for the same reason.
Chemicals – Apart from medications, hearing loss can also result from particular drugs, metals, solvents, asphyxiants, pesticides, herbicides, etc. Combination of noise and these chemicals have an additive effect on a person’s hearing loss. Hearing loss caused by chemicals starts in the high frequency range and is irreversible.
What can I do if I feel I have a hearing loss?
If you are experiencing difficulty in hearing people it is recommended that you have your hearing tested by a qualified hearing aid audiologist. They will test your hearing levels at various intensities. They will also examine your ears to ensure they are clear of obstructions.
You may go undiagnosed of hearing loss for many years since most of the hearing losses could occur gradually. Getting your ears checked every year is good practice concerning hearing loss. There are some conditions related to hearing loss that are treatable and it’s always best to recognize your problems sooner rather than later. Local hearing provides a hearing test absolutely free of cost, so please feel free to contact us today to arrange a free hearing test for you.