Hearing loss: Causes, prevention, and modern hearing aid solutions
Hearing loss is a prevalent issue, affecting millions worldwide. The good news is that with better understanding of its causes and preventative measures, as well as advancements in hearing aid technology, it’s easier than ever to mitigate the impact of hearing loss.
Types of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be classified based on its location. Sensorineural hearing loss, which is often associated with aging or prolonged exposure to loud noises, is the result of damage to the delicate hair structures in the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss, which occurs when there are obstructions or damage in the outer or middle ear, prevents sound from even reaching the inner ear. Identifying the underlying type of hearing loss you have is the first step towards finding a solution that works for you.
Causes of Hearing Loss
There are many causes of hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss is a natural part of aging, usually beginning in the late 50s and progressing over time. Hearing loss can be hereditary, meaning if you have family with hearing problems, you may be at greater risk too. Prolonged exposure to loud noises, be it at concerts, in the workplace or even through the use of headphones can also lead to damaged hearing. Chronic ear infections, if left untreated, can also cause hearing loss over time. Another cause, though less common, is the use of certain medications. Some antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs can cause hearing loss as a side effect of their usage.
Preventing Hearing Loss
No one wants to lose their hearing, so taking some preventative measures is important to protect your hearing. Use ear protection in loud environments or when operating loud tools and machinery. Limit the volume in your headphones to a safe level, even if background noise interferes with their volume. If you suspect you may have hearing loss, visit an ENT doctor right away to assess your hearing. Delaying treatment can accelerate hearing loss.
Hearing Aid Solutions
If you already have hearing loss, a hearing aid is the most effective tool available to help you manage it. Today’s hearing aids are small, discrete and offer advanced features to improve the wearer’s experience. Cutting-edge technology like digital signal processing can filter and amplify specific sounds, making it easier to hear conversation and reduce background noise. Wireless connectivity lets you connect to your smartphone, allowing you to stream music or take phone calls directly to your hearing aid. Gone are the days of fumbling with tiny batteries, because many modern hearing aids are rechargeable.