Many adults in America are living with some level of hearing loss. In fact, around 15% of American adults report some hearing loss. That’s a lot – around 37.5 million people. But what causes this huge figure in hearing loss? There are a number of causes and a number of solutions and treatments. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones.
Symptoms of hearing loss
First of all, how do you know if you have a hearing loss? It may seem like an obvious thing, but many people either don’t notice at first or don’t want to admit to it. Common symptoms include:
- Trouble hearing people talking
- Sounds are muffled
- Problems understanding what people are saying
- Having to ask people to repeat themselves often
- Needing to turn up the volume on the TV
- Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
All of these symptoms are markers of hearing loss and should be investigated by a qualified Audiologist. Many people put off having a hearing test, but it is important to have any hearing loss treated as soon as possible, before complications can occur.
Causes of hearing loss
Age is, unfortunately, one of the biggest causes of hearing loss. As you get older, you lose some of the sensitive hair cells in your inner ear, which causes something called sensorineural hearing loss. Once the hair cells become lost or damaged, they won’t grow back, so it is important to look after your hearing as you age.
Another big cause of hearing loss is exposure to loud noises. Be it through work, home life, or social activities, you are exposed to loud noises all the time. But do you realize how loud certain noises are? Anything above 85 decibels can cause permanent damage to your hearing.
Many diseases and illnesses can cause hearing loss too. Measles, mumps, meningitis, and diabetes can all have an effect on your hearing. Taking certain medications can also affect your hearing.
Sometimes hearing loss is caused by an obstruction in the ear, such as a buildup of earwax, or an ear infection resulting in fluid in the ear. Head trauma can cause dislocation of the middle ear bones, and some people are affected by tumors or abnormal growths in the ear.
Treatments for different types of hearing loss
The treatment will depend on what has caused the hearing loss. Some things, such as infections and wax buildup, can be easily treated and the hearing will return to normal. Age-related hearing loss and noise-induced hearing loss is not likely to be corrected but can be treated with hearing aids. If you suspect you or a loved one has a hearing loss, your first action should be to talk to an Audiologist.
Take a hearing test
No one likes to admit a medical problem and seek treatment, but doing so at an early stage can prevent it from getting worse. Cornerstone Audiology is the leading Audiologist and provider of hearing aids in Lubbock, Big Spring, and Snyder, and will be able to help you treat your hearing loss. Call 806-687-4327 to schedule a hearing test and begin your journey to better hearing.
Dr. Hubik is the owner and founder of one of West Texas’ most trusted and professional hearing providers, Cornerstone Audiology. She received her bachelor of science degree in communication disorders as well as her doctorate of audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). In her youth, Dr. Hubik became interested in helping people with hearing loss to communicate more effectively and therefore pursued a degree in this field. Dr. Hubik was born and raised in Anton, Texas and appreciates working with the people of West Texas. She and her team are proud to serve the hearing needs of their community.