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Time to understand more about hearing loss and why it happens.

Sensorineural hearing loss will often result in difficulty understanding sound or speech even though it is loud enough to hear. This hearing loss usually happens when there is damage to the tiny and delicate hair-like cells located inside our cochlea.

Table of Content

1. How does hearing loss begin?
2. Age-related hearing loss.
3. Health risks of hearing loss.
4. People who live with hearing loss.

How Does Hearing Loss Begin

How does hearing loss begin?

The two most frequent causes of sensorineural hearing loss are excess exposure to loud noises and the natural ageing process.

Noise-induced hearing loss may be caused by a one-time contact with loud sound and by constant exposure to sounds at a variety of loudness levels over an extensive period.

If you can’t lessen the noise or protect your ears, move away from it.
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A sensorineural hearing loss happens because of damage to the hair cells within the inner ear. Which is commonly due to exposure to certain drugs, loud noise, ageing, diseases, or genetics.

The medical term is noise-induced hearing loss or NIHL, it occurs when loud sounds cause permanent damage to hair cells of the cochlea.

Noise-induced hearing loss is not only the most common form of permanent hearing loss, but it is also mostly preventable.

  • A medical condition or medications may also play a role.
  • The noise source may be occupational, recreational, or accidental.
  • The difficulty may lie in the ear canal, eardrum or the middle ear.
  • Whenever sound waves enter the outer ear, they travel to your eardrum.

Personal music players are probably the chief culprits of noise-induced hearing loss among teens. The louder the sound, the shorter the time it takes for noise-induced hearing loss to happen.

Damage takes place to the microscopic hair cells found inside the cochlea. These cells respond to sound vibrations by sending an electrical signal to the auditory nerve.

Speech perception is preserved because it’s heard at lower frequencies.

There are groups of hair cells that are responsible for various frequencies. Over time, the hair cell’s hair-like stereocilia may get damaged or broken.

For those 20-40yrs, the culprit is usually noise. The louder the noise, the shorter exposure time you can have before damage occurs.

Individuals of all ages, including children, teens, young adults, and older people, can develop noise-induced hearing loss. As we get older, degeneration within the inner ear and along the nerve pathways to the brain can affect our hearing.

Presbycusis, losing hearing in the elderly, likely results from risk factors, including an accumulation of noise exposure from work and leisure activities.

It can happen overnight or occur over hours or days.

Presbycusis is the 3rd most common chronic health condition among the elderly, and it usually affects both ears equally. The impact of presbycusis on communication depends on both the severity of the condition and the communication partner.

Presbycusis reflects cochlea ageing, environmental factors, genetic predisposition, and is associated with other health conditions.

Protecting our ears from dangerous noise levels is part of lifelong healthy hearing. Using custom hearing protection can drastically reduce your susceptibility to noise-induced hearing damage.

Over time most sounds will become muffled or distorted. And you may start to find it difficult understanding other people when they talk, or you have to increase the television sound. Do other people complain that you have the television turned up too loud?

Most of the time, these changes are related to the health of tiny hair cells in the inner ear that help us hear. These hair cells translate the sound waves our ears collect and translate them into electrical signals for the brain to interpret as recognisable sound.

Cochlear implants may be recommended for one or both ears.

The auditory nerve carries vital information about the loudness, pitch and meaning of sounds to the brain. Since these cells transmit sound waves into electric signals, our brains can understand as sounds, they are essential.

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When those hair cells are damaged, decay, or die, hearing and understanding sounds and speech become more difficult.

Health risks of hearing loss.

Without having a healthy hearing, the consequences for our social and mental health and physical health, sometimes, become more critical, and our overall quality of life can plummet.

Healthy hearing requires several processes in the inner ear and brain to work correctly to interpret the sounds you hear. It’s easy to overlook the health of your hearing, especially if you’re not experiencing any troubling symptoms.

You have 2 ears because you need 2 ears.

Hearing health experts recommend wearing earplugs or other hearing protection when you’re working or playing around noisy equipment or recreational vehicles.

How much an individual smokes will help indicate how much damage is caused, so cutting back, if not quitting, is recommended to protect hearing health.

When a loud noise is presented to a healthy ear, the eardrum will contract, a sort of built-in hearing protection mechanism, although it’s not very effective.

Catching a hearing difficulty early makes it easier to treat. It relieves the stress on our mind and health that comes with leaving hearing issues unaddressed.

The most essential thing you can do if you think you have a hearing problem is to get advice from a health care provider. As always, notify your doctor or healthcare provider if you are concerned about any symptom you are experiencing.

Damage to your ears is often gradual you might not notice.

The doctor will do an ear exam and refer someone with symptoms to an audiologist, a health professional who specialises in diagnosing and treating hearing problems.

Maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise can facilitate hearing health. Exercising and eating correctly are things you should do for your general health. Still, they are also relevant to your hearing health.

People who live with hearing loss.

After you have been exposed to any loud noise, sounds that seem normal to most people may sound unbearably loud to you. You may also have a more challenging time understanding other people.

Affected people find it increasingly difficult to understand what others are saying, mainly when there is background noise.

A hole in the eardrum interferes with its ability to vibrate correctly.

From attending concerts to hunting without hearing protection, there are many ways which people can endanger their hearing.

Many people have difficulty with high frequency sounds like “s,” “ch,” “th,” “f,” and “z.” Background noises can add a further challenge to interpreting the speech signals.

Osher Günsberg on the health issue that left him ‘isolated’

He regularly graces our television screens as the host of The Bachelor franchise and The Masked Singer, but the seasoned presenter actually suffers from hearing loss and says not only can it have a negative affect on his relationships, but it also often left him feeling “isolated”.

Tone of voice – especially in a relationship – are so vital. It’s not just the word that your partner says, it’s the upward or downward inflection or the lilt in a vowel, that can give you so many clues as to what’s actually going on in a situation.

…the original source

Many people with hearing problems also report tinnitus and, often describe this as a high-pitched ringing, buzzing or roaring sound in their ear.

Tinnitus may subside over time, but can sometimes continue regularly or occasionally throughout a person’s life.

If your tinnitus results from drugs or medicines you have received in the past, avoid these, if possible. But, as always, you should consult your healthcare provider before you discontinue any medication.

Loud noise can cause ringing, hissing, or roaring in the ears.

The increase in the effort to be with other people may cause stress and fatigue. So, if you can hear normally sometimes, you’ll be inclined to blame other factors or other people for the instances you do have a hard time hearing.

If you know you will be around harmful noise, wear hearing protectors, such as earplugs or earmuffs. More individuals are trying to protect their hearing when exposed to loud noise.