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Hearing loss – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

SYMPTOMS:

  • Hissing sound in the ear.
  • Sensitivity to loud sounds.
  • Loss of hearing ability.
  • Highly difficult in following conversations especially when there is back ground noise.
  • Difficulty in hearing high-pitched sounds in the first place, later leading to difficulty in hearing low-pitched sounds.

CAUSES:

  • Hearing loss caused due to ageing is called presbycusis which affects about 1/3 rd of people between the age of 65 and 75 and half of the people of the age 80 and above.
  • Hearing loss is a progressive problem which starts at the age of 20 and slowly progresses and starts to accelerate at the age of 45.
  • The tiny hair cells that are responsible for sound reception present in the inner ear become damaged leading to hearing loss.
  • Various other causes include heredity and excessive reception to loud sounds.
  • Hearing loss is also caused due to heart diseases and other circulatory system problems due to which the ear does not receive the enough blood supply.
  • Hearing loss affects both the ears on an equal basis, but it does not cause total deafness.
  • Men are more prone to get hearing loss as it occurs earlier in compared to then women.
  • Tinnitus which is a sign of hearing loss is identified by hissing or ringing sound in the ears. The sound can be constant and may be frequent or occasional.

PREVENTION:

  • Salt intake in the diet must be reduced to improve hearing. Salt causes swelling up of functional organs in the ear as they retain the fluids in the body.
  • GINKGO – 240mg of extract a day. Noticeable effect or benefit occurs only after a months use. Consult your doctor before taking it as it may interact with other drugs.
  • Avoid hearing loud sounds. Wear earplugs if not able to avoid it.
  • Have a regular check up with an ENT doctor if you have the symptoms.
  • People above the age of 65 must take an audiologist test for every 2-4years if you have family history of this problem.
Ear muffs

Ear muffs

TREATMENTS:

  • Hearing loss is mainly treated by means of hearing aid.
  • Hearing aid is a device made up of microscope (converting sound waves into electrical waves), an amplifier (amplifies sound waves), receiver (converts electrical signal to sound waves) and channels into the ear and battery.
  • It must be made very clear that hearing aid just helps in improving the hearing loss condition and certainly not in bringing back normal hearing.
  • Various other devices that may help in improving hearing loss include amplifying devices, alerting devices and decoding devices.
Hearing aid

Hearing aid

ALERT:

Certain medications like aspirin, quinine, diuretics and powerful antibiotics can diminish hearing temporarily and may even lead to hearing loss.

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