Signs of hearing loss
Here are some signs of hearing loss:
- Speaking too loud
- Friends needing to repeat what they say
- Lip reading during conversations
- Difficulty in talking on the phone
- Hearing ringing in your ears
- Needing to have the TV up louder than others
- Trouble following conversation in groups
If you’re experiencing any of the above, there are a number of causes that may be contributing to the damage. Do you like listening to loud music while wearing earphones/headphones with the volume set to maximum? Do you go to loud concerts? Do you, or have you worked in a noisy job, or have a noisy hobby? Are you getting older or have other members of your family had hearing issues?
Hearing loss can mean that not only is your quality of life diminished but, those close to you including relationships with your family and friends may also be affected negatively. It is important to prevent and treat hearing loss as soon as possible.
Causes of hearing loss
There are various factors which can lead to hearing loss. Some of these are hereditary, some caused by exposure to loud sounds, and others are due to health complications. Here are a few of the most common causes for hearing loss:
There are hereditary hearing conditions and some of these conditions can take effect in adulthood. One of them is otosclerosis. An example of a condition which is considered to be hereditary in 2 out of 3 cases is Otosclerosis. This is a hardening of one or more of the small bones (most commonly the stapes)in the middle ear, which makes it harder for sound to travel through to the inner ear. This results in a hearing loss that gradually gets worse. It is most common in Caucasian women. It can often be treated with surgery; otherwise hearing aids are a good alternative.
Exposure to loud noise
A sudden noise, such as an explosion, can cause instant hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Exposure to loud sounds, such as at a rock concert, or from work, may cause a gradual hearing loss. The louder the noise, the less amount of time you need to be exposed to it before you are at risk of hearing loss.
The risk is accumulated over your lifetime – so even if you are no longer exposure to loud sounds, if you were when younger, you may experience hearing loss. There is currently no medical cure for this type of sensorineural (inner ear) hearing loss, and often the best solution is hearing aids.
Some serious illnesses require medication with potentially damaging side effects. Examples include some treatments for cancer and heart disease
Unfortunately, some drugs that treat these diseases cause hearing loss. Also known as Ototoxics, these drugs cause damage to the cochlea or inner ear. The hearing loss may or may not be reversible.
Before taking any medications, consult with your doctors and ask about side effects. Should you be taking ototoxic medication regular audiological tests may be of benefit and in instances where the hearing is compromised your specialist may be able to offer alternatives.
There are many other causes of hearing loss. A couple of well-known ones include head injuries, ageing, ear infections and Ménière’s disease.
To find out more, Affordable Hearing offers hearing tests and consultations with their audiologists in Brisbane (Mitchelton & Holland Park) and Ipswich. Call the specialists on 1300 658 742 to evaluate your hearing health today.