Most people don’t realize that hearing loss is common. Some hearing loss is due to aging, and some may be due to hearing disorders like Tinnitus which can come on slowly or suddenly due to trauma. The National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders estimates 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss.
Fact 1: Some hearing loss patients may respond to surgery or medical treatments.
Fact 2: Hearing loss can strike at any age. Children and teens can suffer hearing loss if there is malformation of the ear. Trauma to the ear can cause hearing loss at any age.
Fact 3: A doctor can treat and possibly recover some or all hearing loss due to allergies, infections, or colds.
Fact 4: The main categories of hearing loss are Sensorineural, Conductive, and Mixed. Physical damage to the ear is known as Conductive hearing loss. Nerve damage to the ear is known as Sensorineural hearing loss. The combined effect of Conductive and Sensorineural is known as Mixed hearing loss.
Fact 5: Exposure to loud noise over months or longer can lead to Sensorineural hearing loss. This exposure may or not be work related. This may also be caused by noise trauma due to a single event such as a loud explosion.
Fact 6: Hearing loss can be caused by viruses such as the virus that causes Sudden Sensorineural hearing loss.
Fact 7: Meniere’s disease and other diseases that attack the nervous system can cause hearing loss. Loud music exposure via headsets and ear buds can damage hearing leading to hearing loss. Some hearing may be restored when the use of these is stopped. Regular hearing tests of children are recommended.
Fact 8: Surgery should be a last resort but some surgery can help in cases of impacted ear wax, foreign bodies in the ear, and head trauma. A specialist can accurately determine if surgery is warranted.
Fact 9: A doctor can determine what specific medicine may be used to treat hearing loss caused by infections, disease, or allergies.
Fact 10: Early detection of hearing loss is key to possibly preventing further hearing loss. Only a professional can accurately diagnose and recommend proper treatment to correct and repair existing and future damage to one’s hearing.