Hearing loss can occur at any time in your life due to a wide variety of reasons. Although typically associated with old age, hearing loss can be caused by exposure to loud noise, pressure on the eardrum and a buildup of earwax.
More rare causes for hearing loss include an ear tumour, an infection or a weird bone growth. Many of these issues can be fixed or treated effectively, however not all the issues can be rectified. While the impact can typically be reduced once hearing loss kicks in it does tend to get gradually worse.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t cope with hearing loss and the first step is recognizing the signs.
Are You Losing Your Hearing?
One of the most common signs of losing your hearing is tinnitus. Tinnitus sounds very much like someone ringing a tiny bell in your ear that can start off as a deafening noise. When tinnitus first develops it will be quite rare, occurring once a month or even a year. However, it is a sign that you have lost part of your hearing. You can no longer hear a certain frequency of sound. For most people tinnitus is barely audible unless they concentrate. It depends on the cause.
Some people’s hearing has been damaged due to work conditions where they had to operate around loud machinery without the proper protection. These days, a case of tinnitus caused by work conditions could lead to an expensive lawsuit.
Tinnitus isn’t the only sign of hearing loss. You might notice it because you can’t hear something, as well as other people, can, like the TV. If you constantly find you need to turn the volume up or a warning setting for volume on your MP3 player sounds quite quiet it’s a sign that there is something wrong with your hearing.
This does not necessarily mean permanent damage. As previously explained, it could be a wax buildup which can be rectified by cleaning out your ears.
Speak To Someone
If you do find that you are losing your hearing, you should speak to a doctor. An ear doctor will be able to tell you whether the issue is temporary or whether it will gradually get worse with time. They may also offer you treatments for your hearing loss. The most common form of treatment for hearing loss is a hearing aid. This can fit on the inside or outside of your ear or it can even be an implant. Implants while expensive, are completely hidden. As such, no one will be able to tell that you have a problem with your hearing. A hearing aid simple elevates the volume of the sound that you’re hearing and as such is not an effective form of treatment for someone who is completely deaf.
Tinnitus can also be treated by an implant. However, this implant is used to kill off what is essentially white noise. The implant transmits at the same frequency of the noise you can hear in your ear, cancelling it out completely. It is the only way to fix the issue. However, not everyone responds to the implant, and for some people, it won’t be effective at all.
If there is an issue that is blocking the ear, it can be rectified with surgery or a medical treatment such as ear drops. Usually, an ear will be blocked due to an infection. With treatment, this can be completely fixed in a matter of days. However, it can take months for the hearing to return to normal. During this time, you might notice your hearing is actually elevated in certain ways such as hearing an echo of your breathing and your heartbeat.
Adjusting To Reduced Hearing
These days there are various ways to stop a loss of hearing from affecting your life, aside from the treatments we have discussed. Cinemas regularly have showings of films for the hearing impaired that include subtitles, and you can find the same tool on media that you watch online. You can also find various support groups online that will help you come to terms with your new lifestyle.
If you lose your hearing completely, it can be even more difficult to come to terms with. But again, there is support for people like you. You can learn sign language, and while you won’t be able to hear others, they will still be able to hear and understand you. As such, going deaf is not the same as being born with a condition that means you are unable to hear.
I hope this helps you come to term with your hearing loss and allows you to still lead a fantastic quality of life.