If you have noticed that your hearing isn't what it used to be, you might be wondering what causes hearing loss and how to treat it. It is important that you learn more about hearing loss not just for yourself, but just in case someone close to you is concerned about their hearing. Here is more information about different types of hearing loss and how it can be treated.
Some Hearing Loss is Due to Noise
Many people think about hearing loss as being due to a major injury to the ear, something they are born with, or simply from the aging process. While these are among the different types of hearing loss, you can also lose your hearing based on what you listen to. This is called noise-induced hearing loss and is the result of listening to loud noises over an extended period of time. This might be due to hearing the loud noise of a lawnmower or construction equipment without wearing proper ear protection or by listening to loud music consistently over many years. The good thing is that this type of hearing loss is preventable by protecting your ears around loud noises and keeping your music and television at a reasonable volume.
There Are Many Types of Hearing Loss
Speaking of types of hearing loss, you should become more familiar with the different types. By understanding what they are, you will understand the importance of regular hearing tests, getting medical conditions treated promptly, and being careful how you treat your hearing. One of the more common types of hearing loss is conductive, which is often treatable. This is when there is a medical condition affecting the outer ear or middle ear, such as a severe ear infection. Sensory hearing loss is another type, which is often permanent but can be treated with hearing aids. Neural hearing loss is more common among older adults as it is due to an issue with the cochlea of the ear sending messages to the brain.
A Variety of Tests Can Be Performed
If you suspect that you or one of your children have hearing loss, the first thing to do is visit your family physician. They will perform some basic tests to test your hearing, but also look at other possible causes for the hearing disturbance. You might have inflammation of the ear or a buildup of earwax that is causing the hearing loss. This is what you hope for since it is easy to treat. Your doctor will then perform some basic hearing tests, and if a problem is found, they will send you to an audiologist. This hearing specialist performs other tests to look at the type and level of hearing loss, including audiometer and tuning fork tests.
In addition to treating a medical condition that might be causing the hearing loss, other possible treatments include getting a hearing aid or a surgically-implanted hearing device.