Do you suspect someone close to you is experiencing hearing loss in one ear? Or perhaps you’re noticing some symptoms with yourself. Instead of assuming, it helps to know the common causes and the treatment options available.
When you get hearing loss, it could be due to a natural reason like age, injury to the affected ear, and exposure to loud noises. It could also lead to other disorders and hearing issues, so it’s best to address it sooner. But you might wonder, how can you do so?
Knowing the causes and treatments for hearing loss guides you through how to prevent it. So, here are a few of those explained below.
Common Causes of Hearing Loss
When it comes to treating hearing loss, it’s vital to know what causes it. This way, you can determine how to get around it and identify the best treatment for the issue.
The following are a few reasons why you can get hearing loss and how:
Any damage to the inside of your ear can cause your hair or nerve cells to wear or tear. When those parts get affected, your body fails to send signals. And so, it can cause you to feel unsure about what you hear.
Inner ear damage can also be a result of aging or exposure to too many loud noises or high-pitched tones. So, it helps to keep track of your listening habits and how they affect your ears.
It’s natural to feel earwax building up as time passes by. Although it doesn’t directly result in loss of hearing, it poses a possibility because it blocks the canal. The more blocked it gets, the less likely sound passes through.
In some cases, too much earwax gets harder to take off. If so, you might want to consider getting help from a professional to help you remove them without damaging your ear.
If you accumulate too much earwax on one ear, you can expect to feel discomfort there for a while. Removing the earwax and maintaining clean ears is one way to keep it from building up and affecting hearing.
Tumor and Bone Growth
Aside from the usual damage and earwax, you can also develop tumors or unusual bone growth. These are also a few ways issues with your outer or middle ear may come up.
Tumors can also affect how the nerves that are responsible for balance and hearing function. Besides hearing loss, it also causes headaches, face numbing, and other cases like tinnitus.
On the other hand, the condition where you deal with a sponge-like bone growing in your ear cavity is otosclerosis. Your earbones need to vibrate in response to sound waves for you to hear. But These extra bones hinder that movement.
Note that when you have to deal with a tumor or otosclerosis, many recommend getting checked by a doctor. This way, you can see the severity and determine whether it will affect your hearing.
Some also experience sudden ruptures with their eardrums, caused by loud lasts of sound and changes in pressure. It can also occur when something accidentally pokes the inside of the ear or when you encounter an infection that causes your eardrum to burst or get damaged.
Among other possible causes, a ruptured eardrum can heal after a few weeks even without proper treatment. But due to its impact on the ears, it could make your ears vulnerable to infections. As a result, the condition may worsen even before it heals.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Most symptoms of hearing loss are straightforward but can easily go unnoticed if you don’t pay enough attention. If you catch yourself or someone you know experiencing the following cases, it could imply you’re experiencing loss of hearing.
Some people think it’s normal to have muffled hearing every now and then. Although some situations may cause this to happen, it’s concerning when you start experiencing it on a regular basis.
Those who experience hearing loss don’t necessarily lose their hearing ability at once. It occurs gradually, so those who experience it tend to have trouble understanding it at first.
For example, if you ask a question, they ask you to repeat it a few times before hearing it clearly. Sometimes, they might even ask you to raise your voice or speak slower.
Listening to Sounds Louder
One of the obvious but easily overlooked signs of hearing loss is needing to hear sounds louder, even without the need for higher volume. When this happens, it helps to see which sound level is comfortable for you or the person experiencing it. This way you can measure whether it’s within or beyond the usual range for others.
Hearing Ringing Noises
When you or someone else starts to hear distinct ringing noises in the background, it means you are transitioning to losing your hearing or you have tinnitus. In this case, it’s also good to know the symptoms of tinnitus so you can identify if that’s what you’re dealing with.
Finding Background Noise Uncomfortable
Most people who experience hearing loss start to find background noises uncomfortable. Usually, hearing too much sound in the background causes them discomfort. They also avoid being in large social settings due to this.
If you aren’t sure about your condition, you can try to find a hearing test online, for example. It can also help you measure your hearing level.
Different Treatments for Hearing Loss
There are several ways you can treat hearing loss. These include using devices, taking medication, or getting consistent treatment or surgery. The following are some remedies for hearing loss.
Medication or Surgery
Many recommend getting medical treatment for hearing loss before jumping into using devices or getting extra work done. This way, you can see if you the problem is solvable through medication or surgery. For cases where your ears aren’t damaged, you can get treatment unless your audiologist tells you otherwise.
Hearing loss in one ear that doctors cannot treat medically will require you to get a device to aid the function. In most cases, they start with a hearing aid.
Note that there are different types of hearing aids available, so the kind you use usually varies on your needs and the severity of your condition. Additionally, it depends on your lifestyle, so it’s vital that you
get an evaluation and consultation before getting one.
Assistive Listening and Hearing Devices
Other common solutions include assistive listening and hearing enhancement devices. Your doctor will ask you to use it in addition to or as a substitute for hearing aids.
A signaling or text display device converts sounds and keystrokes into visuals, vibrations, or written text. On the other hand, assistive listening devices enhance the sound it receives. These instruments enhance the sound they pick up by reducing the effect of distance, noise, and echoes before transmitting them to the ear or hearing aid.
Signal and Text System
Signal and text substitution systems convert sounds and keystrokes to other modes, like text or light patterns. These include warning systems, telephones, or TVs with closed captioning.
For more severe cases or irreversible hearing loss, your doctor might require you to get a device installed to improve your hearing called a cochlear implant. It refers to a small electronic device that helps the user hear and understand speech better than a hearing aid.
Note that although these improve the way sound passes through, it doesn’t restore your hearing capacity. Even so, it’s an enhanced way to regain hearing abilities without having to take the device on and off.
Auditory Communication Enhancement
Most people who experience hearing loss in one ear or both cannot restore it to normal levels. But there are ways you can improve and maximize your current hearing ability through auditory training.
Experts suggest those who experience loss of hearing in one or both ears consider training and rehabilitation on top of using hearing aids and assistive listening technology. This way, they can take extra measures to enhance how much they can hear now.
The training usually includes audiologic rehab classes, teaching listening strategies, and establishing communication guidelines. They help those who go through hearing loss find other ways to boost their ability to hear without relying on devices and systems.
Learn How to Handle Hearing Loss in One Ear With These Steps
Experiencing hearing loss in one ear is not much different from losing it in both ears. It can cause discomfort and may result in other complications if you fail to address it sooner.
It’s best to be wary of the common symptoms of hearing loss to ensure you aren’t overlooking the problem. This way, you can also get treated for it before it worsens.
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