Hearing loss occurs gradually as we age—known as presbycusis. However, this process could be amplified with ear damaging habits like listening to loud music, working in an industry with loud noises and not protecting the ears from damaging sounds. Other causes could include ear tumours, ear infection, ruptured eardrums and perforation of the tympanic membrane.
Hearing loss can be of three types: sensorineural, conductive and mixed. Temporarily, factors such as excessive wax buildup can reduce hearing through interruption of sound conduction. Read on to find the symptoms and risk factors of hearing loss, and ways to improve your hearing abilities.
1- Symptoms of hearing loss:
Hearing loss can be a gradual process or an acute one. If it occurs gradually then it may not be very noticeable. Symptoms could include hearing muffled sounds, or some consonants could sound muffled. There could be difficulty in understanding words especially low amplitude sounds, withdrawal from the conversation, and frequently asking other people to repeat their words.
In the acute hearing loss, especially in one ear, the help of a healthcare provider should be sought immediately.
2- Risk factors for hearing loss:
There are multiple risk factors for hearing loss. These include chronic exposure to loud noises and consequent ear damage, such as occupational noises and loud music through earplugs. Moreover, genetics play a big role in hearing loss, as do some medications like gentamicin (antibiotic), chemotherapy drugs and vasodilators. Exposure to loud noises such as those of firearms and jet engines can also cause immediate and permanent hearing loss. Any damage to the cochlea, such as that seen in meningitis can also result in hearing loss.
3- How to prevent hearing loss:
The first step in the prevention of hearing loss and improving hearing abilities is to protect the ear from damaging risk factors, such as those mentioned above.
4- Protect the ears:
it is important to protect the ears if you are working in a high noise exposure industry. Limit the exposure to the high-intensity sound waves and use plastic earplugs or glycerin-filled earmuffs to reduce the damage to hearing.
5- Get your hearing tested:
many people with hearing damage may not realize they have hearing loss. Get regularly tested especially if hearing loss runs in your family.
6- Improve your hearing ability:
Adopt habits that can help you improve your hearing abilities. Here are a few tips that can help you:
7- Practice sound location and identification:
Hearing and listening are two different processes. Listening includes not only hearing the sounds but also using the brain to identify and interpret these sounds. Thus fine-tuning the brain to focus on sounds, and locating and identifying it helps to improve hearing.
Helps the brain to focus, and improves the quality of life. Many people who are hard of hearing have seen improvement in their hearing ability with yoga practices.
9- Using the hearing aids:
If you have already been diagnosed with hearing loss, and fitted with hearing aids, then be sure to use them regularly. Using hearing aids improves the quality of life, and prevents degeneration of hearing center in the brain.
10- Stop smoking:
The risk of developing hearing loss in smokers is 28 percent higher than non-smokers. Thus, smoking cessation is important for preventing hearing loss according to the Association for Research in Otolaryngology.
11- Turn down the volume:
Another way to improve hearing is to stop the damage induced by high volume. This is especially important if you are using headphones and earplugs.
To consult a competent professional for hearing tests and a full checkup, book an appointment with top ENT specialist in Lahore, Karachi and Multan through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.