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Hearing loss and other associated problems

Contents

1. Sudden Hearing Loss
2. Presbycusis
3. Noise Induced Hearing Loss
4. Tinnitus

Sudden Hearing Loss

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) is also known as sudden deafness. It occurs when you lose your hearing very quickly, typically only in one ear. It can happen instantly or over a span of several days. During this time, sound gradually becomes muffled or faint.

Frequencies measure sound waves. Decibels measure the intensity, or loudness, of the sounds we hear. Zero is the lowest decibel level, which is close to complete silence. A whisper is 30 decibels, and normal speech is 60 decibels. A loss of 30 decibels in three connected frequencies is considered SSHL. This means that a hearing loss of 30 decibels would make normal speech sound like a whisper.

The condition most commonly affects people between ages 30 and 60. About 50 percent of people with unilateral SSHL (only one ear is affected) recover within two weeks if they get prompt treatment. About 15 percent of people with the condition have hearing loss that gradually gets worse over time. But, advances in technology used for hearing aids and cochlear implants are helping to improve communication for people affected by hearing loss.

SSHL is a serious medical condition and requires prompt medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you think you’re experiencing SSHL. Early treatment can save your hearing.

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Presbycusis

Presbycusis is the most common type of Sensorineural Hearing Loss caused by the natural aging of the auditory system. It occurs gradually and initially affects the ability to hear higher pitched (higher frequency) sounds.

Over time, it can result in individuals being unable to clearly hear sounds at progressively lower frequencies as well. People with Presbycusis often notice that speech is loud enough, but not clear – as if the talker is mumbling. .

Having Presbycusis can result in higher-pitched sounds of speech, such as /s/ and /th/, sounding unclear and indistinct to the listener. This can lead to confusions (e.g. not being about to tell the difference between the words sit and fit), which can impact on an individual’s ability to understand conversations, particularly in noisy situations. .

It’s estimated that 30-40% of people over the age of 65 have some from of it. Unlike Noise-induced Hearing Loss, Presbycusis is the cumulative result of the normal aging process on your ears. However, Noise-Induced Hearing Loss can compound the effects of Presbycusis, which can result in the onset of hearing loss earlier in life..

A common way that Presbycusis can be managed is by wearing Hearing Aids. There is an ever increasing range of hearing aid with latest technology that can help individuals manage their hearing loss with greater ease.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Noise-induced Hearing Loss is a permanent form of Sensorineural Hearing Loss which can either result from a one-off exposure to an intensely loud sound, such as an explosion, or through the prolonged exposure to series of loud noises. Both forms of Noise-induced Hearing Loss occur because of overstimulation and damage to nerve hair cells and supporting structures in the Cochlea – the organ that senses sound.

A temporary Noise-induced Hearing Loss is known as Temporary Hearing Threshold Shift where the hearing abilities return 16 to 48 hours after hearing the loud noise, which caused the hearing loss.

All Noise-induced Hearing Loss is preventable

It can be difficult to know you have a noise-induced hearing loss, as its onset can be very gradual and difficult to notice over time. However, there are some symptoms that can suggest a Noise-induced Hearing Loss could be present. They are:

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If left untreated, your hearing can continue to deteriorate and impact on your ability to hear lower frequencies that can include being able to understand speech.

Although there is ongoing research into how to treat Noise-induced Hearing Loss in the hours or days immediately following exposure, the best course of action is to protect your hearing from the loud sound in the first place.

By taking the right measures, such as wearing hearing protection like ear plugs and ear muffs when you know loud sounds will be in your immediate environment, Noise-induced Hearing Loss can be avoided.

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Tinnitus

Tinnitus is ringing, buzzing, or other noises experienced in the ears. The sounds pose major disruptions in people’s lives and indicate possible ear damage and hearing loss. Fortunately, our experts understand your symptoms and can direct you to a hearing specialist for relief. Call for more information or request a callback through our online form.

Common triggers include acute hearing loss, excessive noise, impaired blood circulation, stress, or misalignment of the cervical spine or jaw joint.

Tinnitus can occur in one ear (left or right) or both. The noises originate in the head and ear canal rather than outside the body. There are about 200 health disorders that could cause tinnitus sounds. One of the most frequent reasons for ear ringing is hearing loss. The damage could be caused by age related factors, noise factors or both.

The sounds experienced by people vary in volume, intensity and type. Some noises sound like high-pitched ringing while others sound like an airplane engine. Other types of noises are similar to the sounds of wind blowing, a rainstorm, or a tea kettle whistling. People experience intermittent or constant sounds. Whatever type of sound experienced, the noise disrupts a person’s life. A person may never have relief from constant ear noise.

More than fifty percent of tinnitus sufferers also have a loss of hearing. Using a hearing aid can significantly increase the quality of life and health for those with hearing loss and ear ringing. Hearing aids compensate for the loss, enabling people to hear external sounds again and retraining the brain to hear sounds.

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