More than 15% of the U.S. population has hearing problems. Cognitive and sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus change a person’s life. Unfortunately, hearing loss is spreading rapidly among all age groups. Today, children are as much a part of the audiology clinic audience as the elderly. Is it possible to live happily with hearing loss? What challenges do patients face in everyday life? Can I get my hearing back? Let’s explore these important questions together!
Causes of hearing loss
Hearing problems are among the top 10 most common disorders on the planet. The WHO notes that the problem continues to spread rapidly. For example, more than 37 million people in the United States have hearing problems. This list includes both the elderly and children.
Unfortunately, hearing loss is getting younger and younger. 15-20 years ago, the problem was common in people over 50-60. Because of age-related changes, everyone’s hearing can get worse. In fact, we are all at risk. However, modern lifestyles, especially in large industrial cities, have greatly accelerated the spread of hearing loss. Teenagers and children increasingly find themselves in the audiologist’s office.
Let’s look at hearing loss causes.
Hearing loss due to age-related changes
These changes put everyone at risk. Why do we lose our hearing as we age? The inner ear contains hair cells. These cells pick up environmental vibrations (sounds) and convert them into electrical impulses. These are then sent to the brain via the auditory nerve. The brain processes them, and we perceive the processed impulses as familiar external sounds. Unfortunately, hair cells do not regenerate like other cells in our body. Each person has one set of cells. They are important for the hearing organs. If you damage them, they won’t function properly, causing some sort of hearing difficulty. Over time, the number of damaged hair cells increases. The older a person gets, the more damaged cells they have. It means the person loses the ability to properly perceive external sounds. Neurosensory hearing loss is the diagnosis.
Prolonged noise exposure
The next common cause is prolonged noise exposure. The process of hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells. Only unlike age-related changes, it is due to noise exposure. Therefore, a person could lose hearing at a middle or even early age. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that in large cities people are constantly exposed to noise pollution. Major traffic arteries, airports, subways, some professions, and loud music with headphones lead to gradual hearing loss.
Complications of ear nose and throat
The throat, ear, and nose are interrelated. If you don’t treat or treat an illness incorrectly, it can turn into ear complications. First, it is middle or acute otitis media. At worst, it’s hearing loss.
Side effects of some medications
Medications rarely affect hearing. But some groups of medications can affect it. Therefore, always consult your doctor before you start taking any medication. It is especially true for people who have chronic otitis media.
Is it dangerous not to treat hearing loss?
Hearing loss is a serious problem that is rapidly spreading across the planet. However, most people don’t even think about it. They are living without wanting to seek help from audiologists. Why does this happen?
Hearing loss usually develops gradually. A person doesn’t notice the changes since they come on gradually. Our brain adapts to different conditions. It gets used to hearing problems. As a result, the problems are spreading around the patient. It is his relatives, friends, or colleagues at work.
Some people don’t want treatment for various reasons. They know they have hearing loss, but they just don’t go to the doctor until the situation is critical. Yes, time is of the essence in restoring hearing. The sooner you see a hearing care professional, the sooner you can get your hearing restored. Otherwise, the treatment will cost you more money and time. It is best not to wait and hope that the hearing loss goes away by itself. The problem won’t go away. On the contrary, with time, hearing loss will cause more difficulties.
The inability to hear the world around you and certain words is just the beginning. Gradually, people with hearing lose cognitive function. The brain is too busy trying to make out sounds. As a result, it reduces the activity in other areas.
Then frequent dizziness begins because hearing affects your spatial orientation. Dizziness leads to frequent falls, which are reportedly dangerous for the elderly because can cause health problems such as broken legs or arms.
Add psychological problems. Patients with loss often isolate themselves from society because of their inability to communicate normally. Depression often occurs in them.
Is it dangerous not to treat hearing loss? Yes! You shouldn’t waste time. At the first symptom, make an appointment with a hearing aid doctor.
What should I do?
Let’s imagine that you’ve noticed the first symptoms of hearing loss in yourself or a loved one. Don’t panic. Hearing care knows how to treat and restore hearing, bringing patients back to a happy life full of sounds and voices. But you shouldn’t delay either!
The only true solution is to make an appointment with an audiologist. The doctor will examine the patient and prescribe tests to determine the degree of hearingloss and the cause of the problem. The diagnosis will help prescribe the right treatment. The most common treatment is the daily wearing of hearing aids. They are small, comfortable, and effective devices that help you recover your hearing. You’ll have to choose a model, buy one, and adjust it before you start using them. A hearing care professional will help you with everything!
Hearing loss is a serious problem. It is gradually spreading among all age groups. Fortunately, today some effective methods can restore hearing. The main thing is to see a loss in time and seek help. Enjoy the wonderful sounds of nature and the voices of your loved ones!