Hearing Loss and Deafness – 10 Facts You May Not Know
With 36 million American adults having hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, this affliction is definitely more common than most people think. While it is considered a natural part of the aging process, not all loss is natural. Tinnitus, for example, is caused by trauma from explosions or through gradual onset.
Fact #1: Fluid buildup that occurs from the common cold and allergies can lead to conductive hearing loss. Fortunately, your doctor can give you medicine to curb the effects of physical ailments like ear infections.
Fact #2: Not every patient responds well to medicinal or surgical treatment, although some hearing loss can be corrected.
Fact #3: Hearing loss affects all ages: from children to teens to adults, with physical trauma leading to deafness at any age. Malformation of the inner ear during the developmental years can give kids and teens hearing loss.
Fact #4: Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by acoustic trauma – in other words, sudden loud noises — or as a gradual result of being in a loud environment for months or years at a time. An example of this may be due to an injury at work or stemming from some kind of trauma.
Fact #5: Medication is thought to help cure some hearing loss, in particular when you’re suffering from allergies, some diseases or infection of the ear canal. The first thing you should do is see a doctor to determine the cause.
Fact #6: Your doctor will diagnose you with one of the three main categories of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural and mixed. Conductive hearing is due to the damage of the ear’s physical structure; on the other hand, sensorineural hearing affects the inner ear due to damage to the surrounding nerves. Mixed hearing is when both conductive and sensorineural loss are present.
Fact #7: There are some viruses that lead to hearing loss, such as the virus that causes sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
Fact #8: Sometimes, loss of hearing comes as the result of Meniere’s Disease. Other diseases not found in the ear point to hearing loss and deafness, as in the case of central nervous system diseases. You as a parent should get your children’s hearing tested if they use buds and headphones to listen to music. Reversing hearing loss is many times dependent on addressing the cause of the hearing loss.
Fact #9: Being evaluated by a specialist is a big part of hearing loss recovery. This is why it’s beneficial to have your hearing tested regularly. As you age, you lose some of your hearing, so minimize that loss through evaluations by a professional to correct problems and other medical ailments.
Fact #10: Some conditions – such as foreign body in the ear, physical damage caused by head trauma and earwax that’s become impacted – may be relieved by surgery. This doesn’t mean it’s always going to work. Your best course of action is to listen to your specialist in determining the success of surgery.