What Causes Hearing Loss?
Have you ever overslept because you can’t hear your alarm clock?
Do you find yourself tuning out the conversation over lunch because you can’t hear everything?
Are you avoiding the theater because you can’t make out the dialog?
I’ve been told that I have a hearing problem.
Hearing loss often means feeling left out. Left out of the conversation and out of some of your favorite activities. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can re-engage with the things you love. The first step in recovering your hearing is to uncover what’s causing it.
Types of Hearing Loss
There are three main types of hearing loss, and depending on what type you’re experiencing the treatment will be different.
Conductive Hearing Loss
A common cause of hearing loss is when sounds are blocked from traveling through the ear canal correctly. This can happen when foreign objects or earwax is blocking the canal, or if fluid builds up behind the eardrum. Other common causes are ear infections, a tear in the eardrum, or cysts. While some conductive hearing loss is caused by disease or permanent damage, many types of conductive hearing loss are temporary.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Some hearing loss is caused by damage to the tiny hairs in the cochlea. Whether caused by aging, disease or exposure to loud noises this type of hearing loss is often permanent and requires treatment with hearing aids or other hearing technology.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
Will My Hearing Come Back?
Sudden hearing loss is often a side effect of living life full throttle. Attending loud concerts, nail-biting football games, or simply pumping it up at spin class can cause hearing loss if the noise gets above 85 decibels. To put that into perspective, driving 50 MPH with your windows down yields an average of 89 decibels, so it doesn’t take much to endanger your hearing.
Research shows that getting treatment immediately after being exposed to a loud noise can dramatically improve the odds of preventing permanent damage. This is because your ears respond to loud noises by sending more white blood cells to your ears. Inflammation, over time, will damage the tiny hairs that detect sound. Seeing an audiologist immediately after being exposed to loud noises is crucial.
Unfortunately, the average person waits 7 years to investigate their hearing loss. Whether they’re in denial or just don’t want to deal with it, waiting to address hearing loss can be devastating.