Hearing Loss?
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What is hearing loss

Do you have difficulty hearing your loved ones and friends when indulging in a conversation, even when there are no loud noises in the background? Do you often ask them to repeat what they have just said? If the answer is “Yes”, you may be suffering from hearing loss.

Hearing loss is defined as a gradual or even sudden decrease in your hearing. It can be classified as mild or serious and it could also be just temporary or worse, permanent. Someone suffering loss of hearing may not even be aware of his or her condition.

Causes of hearing loss

Loud noises

Imagine listening to extremely loud music on a daily basis. Or using machinery like drills or a leaf-blower without protecting your ears. These constant loud noises will damage the inner ear and cause hearing loss over time, without you ever knowing it. Also, sudden loud noises, such as an explosion, can damage your hearing.

Ageing

As we grow older, there can be changes in the inner ear which may cause loss of hearing. The loss may be slow and gradual and could be mild or severe, but unfortunately, always permanent.

Other Causes

Hearing loss could also be attributed to other causes like excessive earwax buildup, a foreign object in the ear, injury to the ear or head through an accident, an ear infection, a ruptured eardrum, and other conditions that affect the middle or inner ear.

Symptoms

Listening to the TV or radio at a higher volume than in the past

Asking people to repeat what they are saying

Having trouble understanding what people are saying, especially in situation when there is background noise

Pain in the ear, irritation or itching of the ear, or having fluid leaking from the ear

Having a feeling that your ear is plugged and your experience muffled hearing

A ringing or buzzing in the ear. This is a condition called tinnitus.

A feeling that everything seems to be spinning around you. This is also known vertigo.

What to do

Firstly, consult a doctor. Your doctor will do a physical exam and ask about your symptoms and your health history. If a hearing loss is suspected, your doctor may then refer you to an audiologist.

Once diagnosed, you can reach out to nessa’s audiologist who can guide you through your journey to better hearing.

Solutions

Generally, a hearing aid is the most effective device for noise or age-related hearing loss

Other simpler aids like bells, whistles can help alert you to sounds around the house like the phone or doorbell

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Self-help – You could start playing closer attention to others’ gestures, expressions, body language and tone of voice

In severe cases of hearing loss where hearing aids don’t work for you, a cochlear implants may be an option

Prevention

Wear hearing protective devices like earplugs and earmuffs when you’re working with loud machinery.

Avoid turning up the volume of your favourite song when wearing earphones or headphones. Prolonged loud music will damage your hearing.

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Do not attempt to put objects into your ears e.g. ear cleaners/diggers or other objects. You may accidentally damage your inner ear.

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