Understanding the type of hearing loss you have is the key to finding the right treatment. Each person’s hearing loss is as unique as their fingerprints, however, the cause can be more common.
Hearing loss can be temporary or permanent. It often comes on gradually as you get older, but it can sometimes happen suddenly.
Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
It’s not always easy to tell if you’re losing your hearing. But, there are some common symptoms of hearing loss.
Common signs include:
- Difficulty hearing other people clearly, and misunderstanding what they say, especially in noisy places
- Blocked feeling in your ear
- Asking people to repeat themselves
- Listening to music or watching television loudly
- Having to concentrate hard to hear what other people are saying, which can be tiring or stressful
Causes of Hearing Loss and the Difference between Sudden and Gradual Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sudden hearing loss occurs when you lose your hearing very quickly, typically only in one ear. It can happen instantly or over a span of several days. During this time, sound gradually becomes muffled or faint. It is EXTREMELY important to seek medical attention immediately as Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss is considered a medical emergency. If you act quickly enough, your hearing has the potential to return to normal with oxygen or steroid treatment.
Gradual hearing loss happens over time. Ageing and exposure to loud noise may cause wear and tear on the hairs or nerve cells in the cochlea that send sound signals to the brain. When these hairs or nerve cells are damaged or missing, electrical signals aren’t transmitted as efficiently, and hearing loss occurs. Higher pitched tones may become muffled. It may become difficult to pick out words against background noise.
Causes of hearing loss include:
- Damage to the inner ear. The inner ear is home to some of the most delicate structures and any damage can cause hearing loss and issues with clarity.
- Ear infection and abnormal bone growths or tumours. This can occur in any part of the ear and should be investigated properly.
- Certain medicines can affect hearing. These are called ototoxic drugs. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can also have side effects on the ear. Speak to your health professional if you feel a prescription/ treatment is affecting your ability to hear well. It is a good idea to get your hearing tested as soon as you can to monitor any changes.
While these facts might sound a little scary, hearing loss is no longer a debilitating condition. With help and treatment, you can manage your hearing loss. Treatments include hearing aids or assistive hearing devices. Hearing aids today are so advanced that you can change the sound settings to suit your environment even through your mobile phone. And, they are small and discrete, some are even 100% invisible!
If you suspect you may be suffering with the symptoms of hearing loss or would like more information on how to prevent hearing loss, we are here to help! At Hearing Sense, we offer FREE hearing tests for adults. We pride ourselves on not only helping our clients hear better but also improving their quality of life. Better hearing isn’t just about hearing sounds clearer, it’s about being able to communicate with your loved ones, regaining your independence, and enjoying life.
For more information, or to book your FREE appointment, give us a call on 8331 8047.