Hearing is one of our body’s most important senses, allowing us to interact with the world around us. Hearing enables us to interact with others, appreciate music and other noises, and communicate. Yet, hearing loss can seriously affect our ability to communicate, engage with others, and even maintain our mental health. We’ll talk about the many types of hearing loss and how to stop it in this blog post.
Types of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be classified into three categories: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed hearing loss.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Problems in the outer or middle ear prevent sound from reaching the inner ear, resulting in conductive hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is usually temporary and is caused by earwax buildup, middle ear fluid, or a perforated eardrum. It can also be caused by issues with the ossicles, which are tiny bones in the middle ear that aid in the transmission of sound vibrations. Medication or surgery are usually used to treat conductive hearing loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve, which connects the inner ear to the brain, causes sensorineural hearing loss. This is a permanent hearing loss that can be caused by ageing, exposure to loud noises, infections, or certain medications. Genetic factors or diseases such as Meniere’s disease can also cause sensorineural hearing loss. Hearing aids or cochlear implants can help manage this type of hearing loss, which cannot be cured.
Mixed Hearing Loss
A person is said to have Mixed hearing loss when he has both of the above conditions, i.e, Conductive hearing loss and Sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss can occur when a person has both a problem in the outer or middle ear and damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve. Mixed hearing loss can be more challenging to treat and may require a combination of medication, surgery, and hearing aids.
Prevention of Hearing Loss
Protect Your Ears from Loud Noises
Since our childhood, we have been told not to listen to very loud audio, this is because our ears are sensitive organs and prolonged exposure to loud noises can reduce their hearing capacity. The longer it takes to cause hearing damage, the louder the sound. When you are exposed to loud noises, such as at a concert or when using power tools, you can protect your ears by wearing earplugs or earmuffs. Wear hearing protection, such as earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones, if you work in a noisy environment.
Be Careful with Medications
Some medications, especially when taken in large doses or over a long period of time, can cause hearing loss. Antibiotics, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen are examples of these medications. If you are taking any of these medications, be sure to carefully follow the dosage instructions and consult your doctor if you have any concerns.
Manage Chronic Diseases
Diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease are all chronic diseases that can increase the risk of hearing loss. These conditions can harm the blood vessels in the inner ear, resulting in hearing loss. If you have any of these conditions, you must carefully manage them to reduce your risk of hearing loss.
Keep Your Ears Clean
It’s crucial to keep your ears clean since earwax accumulation can lead to conductive hearing loss. To avoid pushing earwax deeper into your ear canal, you should refrain from cleaning your ears with cotton swabs or other things. Instead, clean the outer ear with a warm, damp cloth or have your doctor remove any excess earwax.
Get Your Hearing Checked Regularly
A crucial component of avoiding hearing loss is routine hearing evaluations. Early detection of hearing loss through a hearing test makes it simpler to control and stop further damage. Adults should have their hearing evaluated every three years starting at age 50 and at least once every ten years prior to that. You might require more frequent hearing tests if you have a family history of hearing loss or are frequently exposed to loud noises.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Preventing hearing loss can also be accomplished by leading a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise lowers the risk of chronic diseases and enhances blood flow to the inner ear. Have a nutritious, well-balanced diet that is high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, especially vitamins C and E, which can help shield the inner ear from harm. Avoid smoking and consuming large amounts of alcohol because they both raise the chance of hearing loss.
Use Hearing Protection
Use hearing protection if you are frequently subjected to loud noises, such as at work or during leisure activities. Noise-cancelling headphones, earmuffs, and earplugs can all help shield your ears from loud noises. To guarantee they offer the best protection, choose the appropriate style of hearing protection for the activity you are engaging in and wear it properly.
Communication, social engagement, and emotional well-being can all be profoundly impacted by hearing loss in daily life. Yet there are things we can do to stop hearing loss from happening, like keeping our ears safe from loud noises, treating chronic illnesses, leading a healthy lifestyle, and getting routine hearing tests. We can assist ensure that we preserve our hearing health and continue to appreciate the sounds around us for years to come by following these preventative precautions.