Unfortunately, hearing loss can’t be reversed, but you can boost your hearing with special aids or treatments. Hearing loss due to aging is common and it’s believed that heredity and a constant dose of loud noises are also causes. Blockages, cause by earwax can cause a certain amount of hearing loss that prevents you from hearing sounds. Ear infections and bone growth or tumors that affect the middle or outer ear can also cause hearing loss.
You’re able to hear noises when the nerve cells in the inner ear part of the cochlea sends sound signals to the brain and lose the ability to hear as earwax build up or hairs and nerve cells in the cochlea are damaged. Signs of hearing loss include muted speech or sounds, constantly turning up the volume of the radio or television, not hearing conversations clearly so that you don’t join in and avoiding social activities because of hearing problems.
Your quality of life can be greatly affected by hearing loss. Anxiety and depression can occur as well as frustration over not being able to hear conversations. Senior citizens may experience problems for years before seeking treatment and those who are close to them may begin withdrawing or at the very least become frustrated by the hearing loss predicament.
When you do seek treatment for hearing loss, your primary doctor will likely send you to a hearing specialist – an audiologist. The audiologist will evaluate your hearing loss based on what you tell her, so be sure you write down symptoms that you’re experiencing and ask friends and family about changes they’ve noticed that could possibly be attributed to hearing loss.
Jot down a brief history that includes jobs you may have had that surrounded you with loud noises, family history of hearing loss and medical information that lists medications, vitamins and supplements or any diseases you may have experienced – even if you think they don’t have anything to do with the problem. Also write any questions that you have for the doctor, including which tests she recommends.
Questions that your doctor may have for you to help her better understand the cause(s) of your hearing loss include, a description of your symptoms and how rapidly they’ve come on, if there’s any ringing or similar sounds in your ears, whether or not you’re experiencing pain, your history of ear problems including infections, ear surgery or any other medical problems that may have affected your ears.
Treatments for hearing loss have improved greatly over the past few years. You may be able to wear a hearing device that is minimally noticeable and that you barely know is there. Once you seek treatment for hearing loss and regain at least a part of your hearing, your self-esteem will probably return as will your relationships with others. Your entire lifestyle will be much brighter and improved.