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Loss of hearing can happen to anyone at any given time from a variety of sources. These could include genetic disposition to diseases, sickness, and physical trauma caused from accidents. Although there are many causes of hearing loss that are untreatable, a great deal of them are. You don't have to live with symptoms of hearing loss if you are able to have it treated. While some could be cured with simple medications, others may require a form of invasive surgery. Regardless of the circumstance, it is always best to visit your physician in order to determine the right course of action for yourself.
Different Causes Of Hearing Impairment
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
1. Acoustic Trauma
Remember when your mother would tell you that if you listen to your music too loud, you'll go deaf? In reality, that statement isn't far from being true. However, it's not only music that can cause this damage. Any exposure to loud noises can cause acoustic trauma over time. Explosions and other immediate noises can cause deafness to a degree as well.
Symptoms: Gradual decrease of auditory recognition. Constant ringing in the ears.
Treatment: Most of the time, this damage is permanent. Although there are procedures to recover hearing ability such as eardrum repair, those inflicted with acoustic trauma usually rely on the use of hearing aids and other was to adapt.
Affecting the tiny bones within your ear that are receptive to sound waves, Otosclerosis is an ailment that prevents these bones from working correctly. While some attribute Otosclerosis to genetic disposition, there are others that view it as a genetic abnormality that has no rhyme or reason to it.
Symptoms: Gradual hearing loss, usually by the mid-20s of an adult. Constant ringing in the ears. Could experience dizziness.
Treatment: The use of vitamin D, fluoride, and calcium can reduce the hearing loss, but usually this ailment requires a procedure where part of the middle ear is removed or a hole is punched in order for the sound waves to make contact.
When the tiny hairs in your ear that help process sound to your brain are damaged or die off, this reduces comprehension of sound waves. Presbycusis is an age-related ailment that happens as we get older. Like baldness, sometimes these hairs simply die off and never return.
Symptoms: Gradual hearing loss over time. Unable to differentiate sounds while others seem too loud.
Treatment: Incurable. Once these tiny hairs die off, there is no regrowing them. This damage is permanent. However, use of hearing aids may help prolong your activities by amplifying the sounds around you.
A buildup of earwax can reduce the effectiveness of your ears as sound doesn't travel past this blockage. It is actually far more common than many may realize and could easily be mistaken for a more serious ailment. You physician will be able to tell the difference once he or she examines your ears.
Symptoms: Gradual hearing loss over time. One ear may become deafened seemingly overnight if this buildup is jarred loose and moves into the perfect position.
Treatment: While many people use Q-tips or cotton swabs to clear this buildup of wax, there are cleansing and removal kits you can purchase at the local pharmacy for less than $20. However, great care needs to be taken when cleaning your ears. Too much force can cause irreparable damage to your eardrum.
5. Ruptured Eardrum
Akin to the above acoustic trauma, a ruptured eardrum can be the result of many things including loud blasts of sound. Another cause of a ruptured eardrum would be from the change in pressure. Decompression or water pressures below 15 feet could cause an eardrum to rupture.
Symptoms: Immediate loss of auditory abilities. Ringing in the ears.
Treatment: A ruptured eardrum usually can heal itself over time. Depending on the cause of the rupture and the extent of the actual damage, there may be procedures and dietary supplements that can promote greater recovery capabilities.
6. Direct Eardrum Damage
Damage caused directly to the eardrum from a foreign source can decimate ones ability to hear. Foreign sources such as screw drivers, sticks, metal rods, and more have been known to destroy the eardrum rendering that ear useless. Even water skiing could have damaging repercussions to the inner ear from hitting the water at high velocities. Water can force its way into the ear at rapid speeds causing irreparable damage to the eardrum.
Symptoms: Immediate hearing loss. Blood from inner ear trauma.
Treatment: Depending on the extent of the damage, there may be no possible repair for hearing recovery. Damage caused to the eardrum could be irreversible. However, the use of hearing aids and other coping skills can be used to still communicate. This is also dependent on the amount of actual damage the inner ear has suffered.
7. Inner Ear Infection
Foreign elements can cause an inner ear infection such as using a key to “clean” your ears. An impacted tooth also has the ability to infect the ear canal as the infection can spread to various parts of the face causing a severe swelling of the entire portion of the head.
Symptoms: Soreness to the touch. Redness around the ear. Constant pain. Incurable itching within the ear could also be a side effect of an infection.
Treatment: Antibiotics. Whether the infection is caused from a foreign object going into the ear or other physical means, antibiotics such as amoxicillin or other penicillin alternative can be used to reduce the infection and assisting your body in healing.
It's hard to live your life with hearing loss whether it is a slowly fading variety or becoming completely deaf instantly. It's hard, but not unimaginable. If you are experiencing difficulties with hearing of any kind, you'd be wise to make an appointment to visit your doctor. A loss of hearing could be attributed to many potentially dangerous ailments and you wouldn't want to leave anything to chance. It is better to err on the side of caution as opposed to the alternative. Never stick foreign objects in your ears and always wear protective equipment such as earplugs or protective earmuffs when using load equipment.
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