Many people are unaware of the fact that over thirty six million people in the United States alone suffer from some form of hearing loss. The experts at the Institution for Deafness and other Communication Disorders estimate that it will continue to be one of the greatest and most common ailments for decades to come. Everyone can expect to experience a certain degree of hearing loss as they age, but there are also several causes that are not natural and should be known by everyone.
Sensorineural hearing loss, that which affects the ability to relay sound via nerve impulses, can often be caused by sudden loud noises. This is known as acoustic trauma and can either have a rapid onset caused by a single incident, or a delayed onset that is caused by frequent exposure to loud sounds.
There are some diseases, such as Menerie’s, that can cause hearing damage. Yet, it is also important to note that not all diseases that cause hearing loss are centered in the ear, alone. Diseases can damage the central nervous system, so it is important to be tested following major illnesses. Also, children who use ear buds or headphones for extended periods of time should also be tested.
Fluid buildup from colds or seasonal allergies can also cause some forms of hearing loss. The most common form that this takes is conductive hearing loss due to clogging of the ear canal or damage to the ear structure as a result of high density fluid.
One of the best ways to ensure that you will have a lifetime of ear health is to have you hearing checked by a specialist at least once a year. As people age it is natural to lose some hearing, but a ear health professional can track your hearing loss and help you to restore or recover some hearing capabilities.
There are generally considered to be three different types of hearing loss recognized by doctors. The first type is called sensorineural hearing loss and is caused by damage to the nerves which conduct sound to the brain. The second type is called conductive hearing loss and refers to damage, obstructions, and malformations in the ear which lead to hearing loss. The third type is called mixed hearing loss, and has aspects of both other types of hearing loss.
There are medications available to help recover from certain forms of hearing loss. It is important to know that there is not a guarantee of success with medications because they tend to treat hearing ailments that are caused by disease. Either way, it is important to see a doctor before a treatment is started.
There are some types of hearing loss that can be corrected. Usually surgery or medicine is used to help, but it may not be successful in all cases.
Contrary to popular belief, hearing loss can affect people of all ages and walks of life. Physical trauma as well as viral infections can damage the hearing of people that are young and old.
If a patient is suffering from having a foreign object embedded in their ear canal, the chances are that a skilled surgeon could restore most of the hearing. While surgery is also useful for impacted ear wax and some head trauma, there is also a chance that it could lead to further complications or not produce satisfactory results.
There are certain viruses that can cause acute hearing loss in the form of sensorineural damage.