Hearing loss is one of the most common ailments facing people in the United States today. Right now the Institute for Deafness and other Communication Disorders estimates that there are thirty six million individuals that have some form of hearing impairment. While a certain amount of hearing loss can be expected to occur as people age, there are many unnatural means that hearing impairment can be inflicted. We will explore ten different facts about hearing loss to give a basic overview of the condition.
Fact 1: There are three main types of hearing loss that have been defined by the medical community. The first is called conductive hearing impairment and results from physical damage to the structure of the ear. The second type of hearing disorder is categorized as sensorineural hearing loss, and results from damage to the nerves that conduct impulses from the inner ear to the brain. The third type of hearing loss is simply known as mixed and has properties of both of the other types of hearing loss.
Fact 2: There are diseases like Menerie’s Disease that cause hearing loss in some individuals. While this one is localized in the ear, diseases that are based in other parts of the body can affect hearing as well. That is why it is important to have you hearing checked after every major illness. For children who use earbuds and headphones, it is recommended that their hearing is checked even more frequently.
Fact 3: While many people think of it as an occurrence that is limited to older people, hearing disorders can happen in people of any age. Between structural damage and sudden trauma, there are many ways to suffer hearing loss throughout your life.
Fact 4: When you have a fluid buildup that is the result of a sickness, such as a cold or allergies, it can lead to conductive hearing loss. However, with proper supervision and treatment from a doctor, most hearing can be restored.
Fact 5: Some types of hearing loss are caused by viral infections, resulting in sensorineural hearing complications.
Fact 6: One of the key components to a lifetime of hearing health is having evaluations performed by a hearing specialist. They can track an individual’s hearing ability and then recommend different treatments to help restore hearing and prevent further loss.
Fact 7: Acoustic trauma, damage caused by loud noises, can result in gradual hearing decay as well as acute hearing loss. Working in an environment with constant loud noises can cause latent hearing loss, while sudden explosions or noise can cause irreparable acute damage.
Fact 8: Many types of hearing loss can be fixed or treated by a doctor, but there is no guarantee that there will be a positive outcome.
Fact 9: There are some cases in which medication can be used to treat hearing loss. Any time that there is hearing loss caused by allergies or a cold that results in swelling or fluid buildup, medication can provide relief and restore some degree of hearing restoration.
Fact 10: For people that have an object that is stuck in their ear and causing hearing loss, surgery is the best option for recovery. A specialist will be able to determine the possible outcomes and best way to approach the removal of foreign bodies such as earwax.