If you experience hearing loss, you may wonder if there is a way to “cure” the condition and restore your hearing to what it once was. Unfortunately, medical science has not provided us a way to restore hearing loss. However, hearing aids are a common form of treatment that help you reconnect to the sounds you’ve been missing.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be caused by medical conditions and family history, but it can also be the result of environmental factors. Your hearing can be damaged in the places you live in, where you work at, and over the course of things that you do for fun. Some of the causes of hearing loss include (but are not limited to):
- Using earbuds instead of over-ear headphones and listening at a high volume
- Being exposed to loud noises, whether they are sudden noises such as gunfire, explosions, or sirens or more sustained loud noise that can come from factory machinery and/or large equipment, as well as loud music taken in at live concerts
- Growing older in age
- A buildup of ear wax (this also includes ear wax that has been impacted, which can happen when you use things like cotton swabs—they often simply push ear wax together further into your ear canal)
- Changes in air pressure that can be the result of going up in altitude, be it tall buildings or flying, or through underwater activities
Understanding Hearing Loss
It can oftentimes be difficult to remember that you may be contributing to our own hearing loss without even knowing it! Experiences of hearing loss typically vary, but there are some common things you may want to be on the lookout for. These include ringing, buzzing, cracking, or whistling in your ears, which is otherwise known as tinnitus.
Hearing loss is a gradual process, and it does not always mean that you cannot hear at all. In fact, in many cases of hearing loss you may be able to hear, but you may have difficulty following conversation with individuals and around groups of people. You may also be able to hear conversations you are having but be unable to distinguish the specific words speakers are saying.
If you are experiencing hearing loss in these ways, you may find yourself frequently asking people to repeat what they have just said, which can become tiresome and frustrating for all parties involved. In more severe forms of hearing loss, you may find your hearing is muffled, that you can barely perceive sounds at all, or that hearing is simply gone altogether.
Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss
No matter the cause or severity of hearing loss, if you are experiencing signs of hearing loss it is important to consult us at Hearing Aid Associates for a hearing test. This safe and non-invasive process will help you assess your needs. No matter what, however, it is important to know that hearing loss cannot be restored! Hearing assistance devices can merely maintain or slightly amplify the hearing that you do have.
Treating and Preventing Hearing Loss
While hearing loss cannot be reversed there are a ton of very useful ways to be sure that the hearing you do have is healthy and that your communication practices are sustainable. If you make some simple and oftentimes small shifts in your hearing habits, you will go a long way toward improving your communication styles but your physical and mental health as well.
Here a few easy ways to combat hearing loss:
- Wear ear plugs when working in loud spaces
- Cover your ears when facing sudden and temporary noises, as when vehicles such as fire trucks and police cars have their sirens on
- Switch from in-ear headphones to over-ear headphones
- Limit your use of in-ear headphones to 60% volume and listen for a maximum of 60 minutes a day
- Limit exposure to venues such as sporting events and music concerts that produce loud sounds. If you can’t limit your exposure, be sure to take frequent breaks. And remember to always wear ear plugs!
- Use a low volume on your TV and computer speakers
Knowing and addressing the signs and symptoms of hearing loss is essential to slowing the process of hearing loss down. Practicing healthy hearing habits can prevent future hearing loss, even if these habits will not restore the hearing that you have lost. The loss of hearing can have difficult effects on personal well-being, and on interpersonal communication, but taking care and being mindful of the hearing that you do have—and protecting it—may very well ward off future difficulties.
Hearing Aid Associates
If you’ve noticed changes in your hearing, it is important to seek treatment. At Hearing Aid Associates, we provide hearing health services, from hearing tests to hearing aid fittings. Contact us today to learn more.