Hearing loss can affect people of all ages but is chiefly a condition experienced by the elderly, and is associated with deterioration in the functioning of the ear. This is in contrast to deafness, which is often present from birth. Hearing loss has the potential to limit a sufferer’s social and professional life, as it becomes more difficult to interact as well as secure employment.
Hearing loss is often gradual and can be difficult to identify because of this. If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms, it may be time to have your hearing tested by a professional. These can include:
The ear is divided into three sections, the outer, middle and inner ear. The outer ear collects sound which is then transferred to the bones of the middle ear as sound waves. This is then passed onto the inner ear, which converts the mechanical signal into an electric signal for transmission to the brain via the auditory nerve.
There may be a range of causes of hearing loss, the most common being blockages to the ear canal via a foreign object, infection or excessive wax build up. There may also be more serious physical sources, including damage to the hair cells, nerves and bones of the middle and inner ear. This typically occurs when a sufferer has been exposed to excessive levels of noise, a trauma to the head or as the result of an infection or disease.
Avoiding excessive exposure to noise, as well as potentially harmful infections of the ear will dramatically reduce the risk of hearing loss. Traditional approaches to hearing loss include the use of hearing aids and implants; as well as special educational programmes for adults and children. Alternative treatment options include following the advice of a nutritionist to ensure the organs of the body, including the ear, develops properly. This is especially relevant for children. Other natural therapies include meditation and yoga, which can help to relieve the stress induced by hearing loss. Sound therapy is also increasingly recommended, and is a method designed to retrain a sufferer’s hearing and improve listening techniques.
Find a potential source of relief for your hearing loss on the pages of this site.