Hearing is one of the human senses that should not be taken for granted. It starts as a developmental factor in children, teaches them language and life experiences, and becomes an essential element in maintaining relationships and participating in certain everyday life activities. Hearing loss occurs when you cannot partially or completely hear out of either one or both of your ears. It can happen for many reasons but typically occurs gradually over time. The three most common reasons for hearing impairment are:
- Conductive hearing loss – When sound cannot travel from the outer ear to the eardrum and middle ear bones. This can lead to muffled sounds often caused by recurring ear infections, seasonal allergies, and ear wax buildup. This type of hearing loss is not always permanent and can often be treated by antibiotics or surgical interventions such as cochlear implants.
- Sensorineural hearing loss – This type of hearing loss is due to damage to the inner parts of the ears structures or in the nerve pathways that transmit sound to the brain. This form of hearing loss is not typically treatable and is caused by things such as congenital disabilities, natural aging, head trauma, excessive exposure to loud noise, and more.
- Mixed hearing loss – This type of hearing loss is what it seems, a mixture of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
Hearing loss is progressive, worsening over time. Symptoms can seem to appear very gradually, making it difficult to diagnose on your own until it’s begun to affect your daily life. If you show any signs of hearing loss, we recommend you see an audiologist near you. They will administer a hearing test and take proactive action on restoring, if possible, or preventing further damage. At Camellia Audiology, we are firm believers in hearing loss prevention! Below are some of the best ways to avoid hearing loss or minimize further damage if you are already experiencing hearing loss.
Ways to Prevent Hearing Loss
Turn Down The Volume
Sound exposure surrounds you throughout your entire day and can easily exceed the safe limit of 85 decibels. Prolonged exposure to noise exceeding 85 decibels is harmful and can lead to irreversible hearing loss. Turning down the volume when listening to music or watching television, limiting the number of noisy appliances running simultaneously, and even buying quieter products can drastically help prevent hearing loss.
Proper Ear Equipment
When you are aware that you will be exposed to loud sounds, whether at work while cutting the grass or at a concert, take proper precautions to protect your hearing. There are lots of different products on the market, including a variety of earplugs. These are the products we recommend.
Proper Ear Care
Excess fluids or wax buildup can have a direct impact on your hearing. Earwax specifically is the most common cause of conductive hearing loss. Therefore, it is important to remove earwax from the ears properly. Contrary to common belief, Cotton swabs cause more harm by pushing the wax deeper within the ear. Using a warm washcloth to remove what is reachable in the ear, warm oils within the ear, or earwax plugs are the safest ways to care for your ears.
Frequent Hearing Tests
Camellia Audiology has a quick 5-minute hearing test that consists of a few questions you can find here: https://www.camelliaent.com/audiology/hearing-loss/ . If you answer yes to any of those questions, you should consider further testing with your local audiologist. Hearing loss is in many ways preventable so staying proactive, and testing frequently is an excellent preventative method.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list. If you are or suspect you are experiencing hearing loss, do not hesitate to contact us. If your hearing is declining, our specialists are here to help get to the root of why and provide treatment options.