Are You Experiencing Difficulty In Hearing?

Hearing is one of the most common health conditions being experienced globally. Impaired hearing can lead to significant disability in carrying out routine day to day work. The correct treatment depends on a number of factors, like severity of hearing loss, the underlying cause, type of hearing loss and your lifestyle. The first step is getting a hearing test and a detailed assessment from a hearing care professional if you have trouble hearing.

What happens during hearing loss?

The most common type of hearing loss is presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss. The hair cells in our ears stop working as well as they used to and ultimately stop working altogether as we get older. Age-related hearing loss is a type of sensorineural hearing loss, meaning it initiates in the inner ear and auditory nerve and is generally caused by damage to the inner ear hair cells. Loud noise exposure is another big risk factor for this type of hearing loss along with aging. 

Sensorineural hearing loss is eternal; hair cells can’t be fixed once they’re injured. For individuals with this type of hearing loss, hearing aids are the gold standard treatment. Cochlear implants or bone-anchored hearing aids may be recommended in some cases. 

Although it’s normal to gradually lose hearing as you get older, it’s not a good idea to leave it untreated. Your logic of hearing is a serious assembly to the world, both for your safety and for your quality of life. If you’re facing a loss in hearing, seek treatment from a hearing healthcare provider who can help you follow the best options for you.

Why treat hearing loss?

In kids, untreated hearing loss negatively impacts language development, learning, and social engagement. Older adults with hearing loss often have difficulty following day-to-day discussions and may begin withdrawing from friends and family, activities and other things they enjoy.

For individuals entering their retirement years, untreated hearing loss has been connected to several physical and psychological issues, ranging from cognitive decline and sadness to an increased risk of trips and falls.

Treatments for age-related hearing loss

Hearing aids and cochlear implants

If your hearing care professional endorses hearing aids, they will work with you to adjust them to your specific hearing loss, during a process known as fitting. Hearing aids do not return hearing. The basic purpose of a hearing aid is to intensify sound. Nevertheless, today’s hearing aids can be highly customized to your specific hearing needs, amplifying the sounds you need to hear while minimizing those you don’t. Although they can’t exactly mimic normal hearing, they work very well for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Hearing aids can be worn behind the ear or in the ear depending on the degree of hearing loss and personal preference. There are many forms and styles. If you have hearing loss in both ears, two hearing aids are far better than one. For some individuals, cochlear implants will be the recommended treatment. Implants need surgery, but they can be a brilliant option for people who aren’t helped enough by hearing aids, including older adults.

Auditory training and rehab

Whether you are given hearing aids or cochlear implants or another device, auditory training or rehab can help the brain relearn how to process noise into sound. Occasionally these workouts can be completed entirely at home, while others are more intensive, similar to visiting a physical or occupational therapist. Nevertheless, even listening to audiobooks or using smartphone apps to sharpen hearing can be helpful and reduce symptoms like listening fatigue. 

Treatment for conductive hearing loss

The other chief type of hearing loss is known as conductive hearing loss. It’s usually caused by a condition in the outer or middle inner and is usually temporary. This can be the outcome of earwax build-up in the ear canal, fluid in the middle ear or a perforated eardrum.

Conductive hearing loss dealing options usually involve medical intervention from an ear-nose-throat specialist to address the specific cause. In some cases, surgery might help. In the event medical treatment does not clear up the hearing loss, or the hearing loss is a mixture of sensorineural and conductive, a hearing healthcare professional will investigate other options, like hearing aids, or surgical implantation of a bone-anchored hearing system or cochlear implant.

Assistive listening devices

Hearing aids are a big benefit, but sometimes they cannot address the very specific needs of every person. In these circumstances, there are countless accessories and assistive listening devices that can bridge communication gaps. Hearing devices can improve your experience while watching television, listening to music or talking on the phone. These comprise captioned phones, amplified phones, FM systems, TV hearing devices, smartphone apps, and hearing loops that attach with hearing aid telecoils. 

What if I also have tinnitus?

It’s not uncommon to experience tinnitus when you start to develop hearing loss as you get older. Actually, it can be one of the first signs of hearing loss. Luckily, today’s hearing aids often come with what are known as tinnitus masking structures to help tune out the ringing in your ears. A host of other tinnitus treatment tools are accessible to you, as well. It’s vital to talk to your hearing care provider about your tinnitus.