Hearing loss can be permanent or temporary and is something that many people experience at some point in their lives. There are many different causes of hearing loss. Ageing is a common cause, but overexposure to loud noise can be a factor, as can medical problems such as Meniere's disease or ear infections. There are many treatments available from antibiotics to hearing aids, depending on the cause of your hearing loss. This short guide aims to explain hearing loss in more detail, from the initial symptoms to how it can be treated and prevented.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
When hearing loss begins gradually, it can be difficult to notice. However, there are certain symptoms that you should look out for. The most obvious signs are being unable to understand conversations, especially in crowded places, and needing to turn your music or television to a higher volume. Other symptoms include trouble hearing consonants, being unable to keep up with conversation, or avoiding social situations. If you feel you have any of these symptoms, speak to your GP about treatment options.
Treatment for Hearing Loss
The treatment that your GP or specialist will recommend for you entirely depends on the cause of your hearing loss. There are different treatments in detail, including antibiotics for bacterial infections or ear flushing for hearing loss caused by wax buildup. If your hearing loss is caused by ageing, the best option is often hearing aids, which are a popular solution for many older people. They work by amplifying sounds, and you will be able to control and remove them yourself for added convenience. For some conditions, such as cholesteatoma or overgrown adenoids, surgery is the best option to restore your hearing.
Preventing Hearing Loss
In many cases, hearing loss is connected to ageing or to a medical condition, but with some types of hearing loss, there are choices you can make to minimise or prevent it. There are some simple steps you can take, including using ear protection when you are in a loud environment, and not using loud earphones. You should also take care not to cause physical damage to your ears by inserting objects, such as cotton buds, into them.
While hearing loss can be inconvenient and embarrassing, there are many things that can be done to help. If you feel that your life is being negatively affected by being unable to hear, make an appointment with your GP, who can look into the root cause and discuss the available treatment options with you.