Hearing problems can occur in both young and older adults. The treatment method depends on the type of hearing loss. In some cases, it’s enough to perform a few tests and an initial examination with an otoscope to find the source of the problem. In other cases, it becomes necessary to perform a series of additional tests because only in-depth diagnostics allow for identifying the cause of hearing deterioration. See an appropriate hearing care professional if you have hearing loss or other hearing problems. It is worth checking if an audiologist is nearby who treats children and adults.
What is hearing loss? How to recognize it?
Hearing loss is a hearing loss associated with decreased sensitivity of the organ of hearing. People with hearing loss have trouble perceiving soft sounds, which may be due to their inadequate conduction or reception. If a person cannot hear a whisper, there is mild hearing impairment. It is challenging to understand slurred speech and noises ranging from 20 to 40 dB with moderate impairment. You have severely impaired hearing if you cannot hear speech too clearly. We can speak of a profound impairment in the case of not rubbing the sounds of the intensity from 60 to 80 dB against the auditory organ. For some people, their hearing loss is so advanced that they cannot hear screams.
For conductive hearing loss, sensitivity to sounds is typical:
– the patient cannot correctly recognize prepositions, syllables, and conjunctions.
– hearing loss is less than 60 dB.
– a sick person can hear a whisper better than a colloquial speech.
Since there is no disturbance of bone conduction in the case of conductive hearing loss, there is no problem with hearing a phone call well. Sensorineural hearing loss can be cochlear, retro cochlear, or central, depending on the damage. The hearing threshold is lowered, the patient cannot understand speech, and has problems mainly with high-pitched sounds. Sensorineural hearing loss is primarily typical in people with bilateral hearing loss. The sick person starts to mumble and has a poor vocabulary. Central hearing loss occurs due to damage to the brain stem and cortical centers. Most patients have mixed or conductive-sensor hearing loss.
What are the causes of hearing loss?
The elderly are mainly exposed to hearing loss, i.e., those over 65 years of age and those working in professions related to constant exposure to noise. If someone listens to loud music or uses cotton buds, there may be various problems with the hearing organ. Certain medications, bacterial/viral infections, and multiple diseases (autoimmune, allergic, metabolic) can also cause hearing loss. Circulatory disorders also increase the risk of hearing loss. The causes include developmental and hereditary defects and congenital deafness. Hearing loss can be the result of poisoning the body. Deafness is often caused by hypoxia, meningitis, otitis, and chronic diseases. Hearing loss can occur due to obstruction of the ear canal by a foreign body or earwax. Sometimes it results from a stroke, mechanical trauma, brain tumor, or untreated infection.
What to do in the event of hearing loss?
If you develop hearing problems, see your GP immediately. He will interview the patient and perform an initial otoscope examination. If there are indications, he will refer you to a specialist in the form of an ENT or audiologist (see also: www.phonak.com/uk/en/find-a-hearing-care-specialist.html). If necessary, in-depth diagnostics will help find the source of the problem, make a diagnosis and select the appropriate treatment method. The most common are hearing aids and implantation of a cochlear implant. Reconstructive surgery becomes necessary in the case of middle ear defects. The hearing loss problem is solved by removing a foreign body or earwax plug for many patients. If an infection damages your hearing, it must be treated with medication.