Hearing loss is a devastating experience. According to the National Institute on Deafness, 30 million people are affected by this condition. That breaks down to 30 percent of the US population, a ratio of 1 in 8 people.
Hearing loss is caused by many things; unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about them. Preventative care is of the utmost importance for treating this condition. Your awareness serves to open yourself up to early detection, which allows you tackle the problem early on and combat damage before it becomes too severe.
Potential Causes of Hearing Loss
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Jim worked in a manufacturing plant most of his life. He reported to work early every day for 30 years. He was usually the first to arrive, one of the last to leave, and never missed a day, even when it would have afforded him well. Unfortunately, all his dedication, to his family, which he loved dearly, and the job he worked to support them, did nothing to protect him from severe hearing loss. Years of working at the plant did a doozy on his hearing. Jim never work protective gear, and never gave any thought to the need for any. As a result, Jim’s proud to have retired, but is very regretful that he didn’t take care of himself.
Jim’s not alone in his condition. Prolonged exposure to noisy work environments are dangerous to your hearing. A study discovered industrial plant workers who routinely skipped hearing protection in excessively noisy environments (defined as above 85 decibels) tended to develop permanent hearing loss. Non-work situations (like night clubs) have potential to be just as dangerous.
Tobacco-Induced Hearing Loss
This sounds a little wonky, doesn’t it? Tobacco isn’t a commonly known culprit of hearing loss, but the evidence is there. Studies have shown that individuals who smoke have an increased predisposition to hearing loss, and their vulnerability increases in scale to the length of time they smoke.
Citizens in developing countries are reluctant to pay high medical costs. Instead of visiting the doctor and paying him for his service, they’ll attempt to self-diagnose their conditions. Self-diagnosis is followed by self-prescribed medication. Consequently, the damage they cause to their bodies is shocking. Their practices can lead to ototoxicity, which damages the ears and leads to reduced hearing, especially when they’re improperly prescribed. Ototoxic drugs include aspirin, and antibiotics like streptomycin and neomycin.
Disease and Infection
Becky had this habit of sticking objects in her ears when they felt itchy or like the needed to be cleaned out. She stopped once she became aware wasn’t the best practice. It could lead to increased risk of ear infections and ear damage. Little did she – or most people – know that disease and infection could affect the ear and occur without taking part in this activity.
Otitis media, a pediatric condition caused by the accumulation of fluid behind the ear drum, allows bacteria to enter and infect the ear drum, creating an ear infection. Children affected by this have muffled hearing, as others become inaudible. This hearing loss is generally temporary, but could have a battering ram effect leading to sensorineural and permanent hearing loss over time if the condition repeats itself.
Any infections that include swelling of the ear also block hearing. You’ll be aware of these conditions because you’ll hear, but often at a much lower volume than previously before. Sharp poking with objects can also affect the ear drum and your hearing.
Ear Canal Blockage
Your ear canal can be blocked by earwax, or ceruman, leading to hearing loss. This is a common type of blockage, as we all have earwax. The good news is, this is easily cured through having your doctor remove the wax, or simply flushing with water. Naturopathic practices such as ear candling are also said to be helpful for removing ear canal blockages. Be care regarding any DIY or at-home earwax removal, as improper techniques can be ineffective and actually lead to infections.
Treating Hearing Loss
As previously stated, when you are aware of the causes of hearing loss, you have the advantage of combating it head on. While you may not completely eliminate the threat, you can curb your damage with early detection and preventative care.
If you’re already afflicted with hearing loss, there’s still hope. Miracle-Ear has served millions of deeply satisfied customers over 65 years. A household name, the company has one of the most trusted customer care packages available on the market. They have over 1200 locations staffed with highly-trained specialists committed to providing personalized consultations for specialized results.